Student activists add to campus dialogue

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Daniel Eggerding says his proudest moment is when he was at a Donald Trump rally in Grand Rapids this year.

He got up on his best friend’s shoulders and screamed as Trump walked onto the stage: “You’re a racist bigot!”

With a campus of more than 50,000 students, Michigan State University students have a diverse set of viewpoints. And with more than 600 registered student organizations, there may be a student group to cover most of those views.

“What’s so important is getting people organized and having people out who want to see that change happen,” said Joseph Herbst, secretary for Greenpeace and director of grassroots organizing activism for The Climate Reality project.

Claire Bogrow is the president of Greenpeace at Michigan State. Bogrow says the role of Greenpeace is to develop an organization of student activists that can work together and create campaigns.

“It’s encouraging to be with each other and to know that change is possible with the right people,” Bogrow said. “We get together and talk about issues and bring those issues outside of the university. We have created a large group of students who have the same motives.”

Lana Grasser works to engage students on a different issue. She is president of Students For Life, which advocates against abortion.

“We want to share with students how they can make a difference,” Stasser said. “This is a big political year, so we want to provide students information with where all candidates and political parties stand.”

Emily Pallarito, a member of Students for Life, said is hard for her to put her beliefs out in the open.

“I’m passionate about this organization. I love helping people and it’s what I plan on going onto in the future for my career,” she said. “I love the idea of helping young women my age.”

As a student, Ewurama Appiagyei-Dankah talks a lot to her friends about racial injustices. She describes herself as a passionate feminist who works to empower girls of color and women in general.

“It’s unique being on a college campus because in the James Madison College, we talk about things in the classroom and see them happen in everyday life,” Appiagyei-Dankah said.

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