Another school year is finally upon us which, for MPIRG, means another
year of dedication to grassroots organizing. For those of you familiar
with MPIRG, I would imagine you are already quivering in anticipation with
the prospects of what can be accomplished this year. And I can assure you
much will be accomplished! For those of you new to the world of MPIRG and
progressive activism let me start by way of introduction to our
MPIRG, or Minnesota Public Interest Research Group is a 40 year old non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization committed to fighting for environmental and social justice in
the great state of Minnesota. There are, however, a few things that separate us from the other organizations you will come across on your campuses and throughout the state. The first thing that sets us apart from other non-profits in the state is that we are COMPLETELY student
directed and have been since our creation in 1971 when students at the University of Minnesota decided they wanted representation at the capitol and gathered petition signatures from a majority of the student body. Our board of directors is composed of students from all of our MPIRG schools—University of Minnesota-TC, University of Minnesota-Duluth, University of Minnesota-Morris, St Catherine University, Macalester College, Hamline University, and Augsburg College. These board members are responsible for everything from hiring and firing staff to budgeting for a state-wide non-profit organization. The power is truly in our, and more importantly all of your hands. As a student at an MPIRG school you are this organization and your involvement, or noninvolvement is what will decide where this organization, and even this state, goes in the future.
Another thing that separates us from the other organizations you might come across while deciding to get involved over the course of your next few years in college is that we get things
done! We have built a 40 year track record of accomplishing what we set out to do throughout the state of Minnesota. These accomplishments range from making the boundary waters canoe area a paddle only area in 1978 to mandating business recycling in the city of Minneapolis just weeks ago, to creating composting initiatives on campuses across the state. When we say we want to see change we don’t idealistically flounder about hoping and wishing for change but provide our students with the skills and resources to make a tangible change in our state.
So, what are we working on now, and how can you get involved? We are currently running three more broad three-year campaigns which are as follows: Health Care for All, Affordable Higher
Education, and Environomics(working to improve our environment and economic conditions simultaneously). These campaigns, however, are just the tip of the iceberg as MPIRG works on a multitude of different issues at each of its individual campuses.
You all are looking for ways to get involved, why not make some real change while you’re at it. Keep on the lookout for intro meetings at each of your respective schools and if you have any questions feel free to contact your local co-chairs, board members, or organizers as well as either of us. We are looking forward to having a great and productive year, and I can assure you, you will never have this much fun getting this much done! We hope to see all kinds of new faces over the course of the next year, and hopefully reading this will motivate you to get involved!
Your Chair and Vice chair of MPIRG, respectively Natalie Tungsvick and