Current Campaigns

Zero Hunger on Campus

Campaign Coordinator: Shawn Thompson

Many Americans are living on the edge, forced to choose between basic necessities like purchasing food, paying rent, or going to the doctor. Poverty isn’t exclusive to any one community. Even college campuses are not immune. Our latest research suggests that one in five students may experience hunger during their time at UMD. As students, we have the ideas, solutions and resources to make change – and by joining together, we can end hunger and homelessness.

Affordable Textbooks

Campaign Coordinator: Branson Cameron

In recent years, the price of college textbooks have risen dramatically to reach up to a staggering $1,200 per year. This high price, coupled with the advent of access codes, have unfortunately created a system where students are exploited and forced to pay for access to the materials they need to be academically successful. Luckily, we as students have the power to change this by talking to faculty, raising awareness, and advocating for more affordable alternatives like open textbooks. Help us create a campus where students aren’t forced to make tough financial sacrifices. Help us make education more accessible at UMD.

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Fossil Free UMD

Campaign Coordinator: Kate Rush

Climate change is viewed by many young people as the single biggest problem facing our generation. Fossil Free UMD works to think global and act local by tackling climate change right here at UMD. With a natural gas power plant on campus barring our way to a clean energy future for our community, there is a lot of work to be done to break free from fossil fuels and fight climate change.

Juvenile Justice and Incarceration

Campaign Coordinator: Patrick Peralta

From academics and politicians to activists and community organizers, there is a growing consensus that mass incarceration is a major crisis in the United States. Compared to the rest of the international community, America leads in the number of people it incarcerates as well as the rate by which it does. Mass incarceration has fostered inequality between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots, white and blacks, citizens and non-citizens, and especially, children and adults. Our campaign seeks to explore the effects of incarceration in the latter. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 2 million people are incarcerated around America, and more than 60,000 of them are juveniles. The disparity between the ways juveniles and adults are sentenced, treated, and understood when it comes to criminal rehabilitation is fundamentally broken, and it must be amended through greater education about juvenile recidivism, more effective community programs, and greater socioeconomic opportunities for life after release.

Campus Working Conditions

Campaign Co-coordinators: Lily Byrne and Casey Ottenwalder

As students at UMD, we stand in solidarity with the workers on our campus. We have fought for a livable wage and will continue this fight this semester to improve working conditions. UMD continues to mistreat campus workers by allowing language-based discrimination, preventing access to critical health and safety serves, and failing to properly equip workers to handle toxic mold clean up. We are working closely with AFSCME (UMD’s labor union) student workers, and student groups to unify students and staff to collectively improve labor conditions at UMD.

Read about more PIRG campaigns here!