Whether you just moved into your dorm or you are taking classes remotely from home this semester, welcome to Northeastern University! Before your semester starts, we'd like to tell you a little bit about some of the issues affecting our campus and the surrounding community, as well as how you can get involved in organizing to fix these issues.
There is a long-standing misconception that student organizers and activists are only here to complain about everything wrong with their university, when in reality, we are the ones putting the work in to make Northeastern the best it can be. The issues we are organizing around are not unique to Northeastern, as almost every major college or university is burdened by similar issues. However, Northeastern also has a diverse coalition of student-led groups that dedicate their energy to bettering the institution and its impact on the surrounding communities. The groups featured in this guide organize around a variety of issues, from environmentalism to the exploitation of campus workers to the gentrification of neighborhoods surrounding Northeastern. Moreover, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing wave of #BlackLivesMatter protests, the Northeastern community has also started organizing around issues related to Northeastern's abrupt closure of campus in March 2020, Northeastern's reopening plan for the Fall 2020 semester, systemic racism on Northeastern's campus, and the militarization of the Northeastern University Police Department (NUPD).
Universities rely on students (and our tuition money) in order to operate, and we can leverage this unique power to create the changes we want to see at our school. With this guide, we want to shine a light on the many ways that students, past and present, are working to create lasting change on Northeastern's campus and beyond. We hope that the information presented in these articles will inspire you to get involved in current campaigns for justice at Northeastern, and to start organizing new campaigns around the issues that you care about. We also want to give a voice to members of our campus community whose concerns deserve to be heard, because acknowledging where there are problems at Northeastern is the first step to eventually solving them. Lastly, this guide is intended to connect you all with resources, tips, and a community of social justice-oriented students to make your time here the best it can be.
We hope that you learn something valuable in these articles, and we can’t wait to meet and work with the next generation of student organizers and activists at Northeastern!