Occupy movement draws differing opinions at LSU

November 8, 2011 in News by OccupyBR

Geaux Tigers!
LSU (1) Beats Bama (2)
The Tiger’s big game of the season is out of the way. Will Occupy Baton Rouge be able to make some headway with the students at LSU?

As the Occupy Wall Street movement continues, similar Louisiana rallies have drawn attention to the movement for many at the University, but some remain in the dark.

Nearly four out of 10 Americans now support the Occupy movement, according to the Pew Research Center. More than 1,000 American adults were surveyed, and 35 percent said they do not support Occupy action.

Young Americans have played a significant role in the national movement because many of the issues addressed by protesters concern higher education.

The American Association of University Professors joined last month when the national organization endorsed the movement. A statement on the AAUP website cited state cuts to higher education and increased tuition for students as reasons for supporting Occupy protesters.

Ravi Rau, physics and astronomy professor and president of the LSU AAUP chapter, said the endorsement makes sense because the AAUP believes in the same principles of higher education as Occupy protesters.

Rau called the endorsement a “general backing” of the issues being raised.

He said many of the issues, like increasingly high student debt and less state government support, are relevant to college students and should be important to them, especially at the University.

The Louisiana Legislature has made many cuts, and raising tuition should be a concern for University students, he said.

Rau said he personally supports the movement and attended the first Occupy Baton Rouge rally at the State Capitol Building on Oct. 22.

But students have mixed opinions on the movement.

Many actions Occupy protesters have taken have been chastised by much of the general public, said AndrewWegmann, history graduate student. He said he disagrees with the movement.

Emma Allain, mechanical engineering senior, said she agrees with the Occupy belief that large corporations have too much power but thinks they are a “necessary evil.”

“Without corporate America, America wouldn’t be America,” Allain said.

She said there are definite flaws in the government and financial systems, but Occupy protesters are getting in the way more than they are being helpful.

Electrical engineering junior Rachel Champagne said protesters’ frustrations are misguided.

Champagne said the movement should target politicians rather than corporations because politicians have the power to raise taxes and cut funding.

Many students said they did not know much about the movement, with some mentioning they heard or read about Occupy rallies but were not interested in learning more about them.
Source:  LSU Daily Reveille
By: Brian Sibiller

Contact Brian Sibille at bsibille@lsureveille.com