Once again, on campuses all over the country, students are organizing under the SDS name and its principles. At the UCLA campus, it organized a demonstration of over 1,000 crosses on the lawn.
On March 3, the first day of a week-long event, we spoke with UCLA graduate student and SDS member Bozena M. Morawski.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 25, [an] L.A.-area native, first-year Master of Public Health in Epidemiology student at UCLA.
What is the goal of Students for a Democratic Society?
UCLA Students for a Democratic Society is a chapter of a national organization of the same name that seeks to create a broad-based sea change towards a more just and peaceful society. We believe that profound social change is possible, and we strive for this change through direct action, community involvement and outreach, as well as through the structure of our organization itself.
What motivated you to become involved in this campus organization?
My motivation to join SDS was born of my own frustration with the status quo, and the recognition of the fact that my voice is only as powerful as I allow it to be. For me, this means that simply voting and hoping for the best is not enough. In order to inhabit a society that reflects one’s values requires a daily manifestation of the change that one wishes to see in society, be it through direct political action or extending basic kindness and respect to those around you.
How do you hope to affect students?
The purpose of bringing Arlington West to the UCLA campus was to remind the student body – and the UCLA community at large – that we have been occupying Iraq and exacting the highest possible toll for millions of people for almost five years, with no end in sight. While what we have shown represents a very small part of this toll, we hope that it is enough to start a dialogue amongst a greater number of campus community members about the war and its resolution.
To those same ends, SDS is also hosting a rally and march against the war on April 9. We hope that this installation inspires all members of the UCLA community to reflect on their part in the war and in society at large; in doing so, we hope that they take action, get involved in an issue – whether it is anti-war activity, animal cruelty or fair trade – and recognize their potential to affect positive change.
Students for a Democratic Society meetings take place every Wednesday at 6 p.m. on the UCLA campus. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.