October 19, 2011

MPIRG Kicks-off Another Year of Action

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For nearly 40 years, one Hamline student group has been working on a variety of social, environmental, civic and consumer issues. Hamline’s chapter of the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG), a non-profit advocacy organization with chapters at colleges and universities across the state, is made up of students who are motivated to see positive change in their communities.

This year, Hamline’s MPIRG chapter plans to work on a variety of issues, including defeating the gay marriage constitutional amendment and educating Saint Paul residents about instant run-off voting, which they will use for the first time this fall. Recently, the student group hosted Minnesotans United for All Families and members of the community for an action training session to prepare those interested in advocacy for the gay marriage amendment campaign.

“We have also worked on projects to get more recycling bins on campus and to ensure apparel in the bookstore was made by people paid a living wage,” said sophomore Ben Surma, a Hamline MPIRG co-chair.

The Hamline MPIRG chapter typically has about 30 members according to Surma, who said, “Our work on environmental issues helps us attract a large number of members.”

In addition to environmental issues, the Hamline chapter also works on civic and social issues. Surma said the chance to make his voice heard and to communicate with policymakers on the issues is why he is involved.

The Hamline MPIRG chapter meets every Tuesday at 4:15 in Drew Science room 6. For more information, contact Ben Surma or Richmond Fiksdal.