Many students have heard about the organization known as MASSPIRG. With so many other clubs on campus, though, trying to keep track of which one is doing what can become confusing. MASSPIRG is a student run and student funded organization statewide that has been standing up to powerful special interests and winning concrete victories on social and environmental issues for forty years. Upcoming campaigns for the UMass Boston division are the Hunger and Homelessness campaign, Labeling GMO’s campaign, as well as the Bottle Bill campaign.
MASSPIRG has been busy recently. Their list of accomplishments is long, but it is important to recognize that they have helped to pass a policy that will invest around $700 million into public transportation. MASSPIRG has also helped in placing $3 billion in funds for student aid.
The coordinator for the the University of Massachusetts Boston MASSPIRG division is Kathleen Page. Page graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Political Science and she is passionate about the MASSPIRG cause. According to Page, “MASSPIRG is a great opportunity because it trains students to learn about advocacy skills.” Page also stated that “MASSPIRG is different from other group because our mission is to stand up to really powerful organizations and we are focused on helping smaller organizations and everyday citizens.”
Chancellor Motley said, “the MASSPIRG report described UMass Boston and Harvard University as ‘innovators in transportation policy.’ More importantly, we’re responding to our community members’ needs: transportation to our campus that is more environmentally friendly and that relieves automobile congestion.”
Programs such as MASSPIRG are becoming game changers in not only university settings, but also in the surrounding community. If students are interested in becoming involved with the project’s mission and development, they can stop by the UMass Boston chapter’s office in the Campus Center 2300 cubicle 7.