SF State’s Student Union organized the event Mobilize for Change at The Depot April 16.
The event allowed for students and student organizations to discuss the issues and problems that the campus community faces and featured spoken-word poetry from Reza “Dregs One” Harris, Larica Fantasia Jacko and DeMareon Gipson. Listen to them here. Simply hover over the icons to reveal the embedded media.
Photos by: (Sara Gobets / Xpress)
Produced by: (Katrina Andaya / Xpress)
Students expressed their concern for the current state of University education through spoken-word poetry at the Depot April 16.
The Student Union of San Francisco hosted “Mobilize for Change,” an event where an array of student organizations gathered to discuss issues that the campus community faces on a daily basis. Student Union member Mazin Mahgoub said he was concerned about the rising cost of education at SF State.
“Education is supposed to be free, it is supposed to be of quality,” Mahgoub said. “It should be relevant to all, it should be covering the narratives of all peoples – not particular to just one experience and not brainwashing us all to be workers slave ants.”
Fossil Free SFSU, Real Food Challenge, League of Filipino Students, Black Student Union, Student Union, General Union of Palestine Students and Moviemento Estadiantil Chicano De Aztlan were among the student organizations that participated in the event.
Attendees wrote the issues they have with the education system on yellow posters that hung on the walls. Several students called for quality and free education.
The Student Union hoped the performances would inspire students to raise their concerns to university officials, according to member Michael Sanchez.
“Art is a beautiful way to empower people,” Sanchez said.
Rapper, activist and SF State student Reza Harris, known as Dregs One, kicked off the performances with spoken word.
His poem drew attention to gentrification, displacement and evictions in his community in San Francisco. The audience snapped and cheered in correspondence to Harris’ message.
“This is my first time doing poetry it was about gentrification and some of the other issues going on in the San Francisco community,” Harris said.
Patrick Racela of LFS spoke about the challenges of enrolling in classes at SF State, a process he said hinders students’ access to education. Racela urged the crowd to join his organization’s movement favoring educational equity.
“Students can join or partake in our ‘education is a human right’ campaign,” said Racela. “Once we’re able to organize and unify with different student groups, then we can start to see a push for students to assert the democratic right to education.”
Student Union member Larica Thompson spoke about student issues and the conflicts professors endure like low pay and lack of job security.
GUPS president Lubna Morrar read a poem that compared U.S. imperialism in Palestine to racism in the United States.
“I think that we are living in a time where a lot of us a lot of young folks very much romanticize the ways in which the student body has organized on campus and I feel that we’re just kinda stuck,” said, Morrar. “I think it’s because we’re looking for leadership versus us realizing that we are the leadership.”