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Report from Ohio State

By: 
Doug Wagner
Date Published: 
January 01, 0001

As President of the Ohio State Campus Greens in the 2003-04 school year, and as an activist in the organization the year before, I've had the privelege of observing student activism emerge out of February 15th, 2003, at one of our nation's largest universities firsthand. It began in a small room in our student union where students outraged at the looming Bush War against Iraq, overwhelmed our student government body meeting to urge that body to pass a resolution against the war. That night, they did- an action that in turn spawned a popular coalition of progressives to run for student government that year.

In the last two student government elections we've elected 8 out of 11 of our candidates to the student government, established a website www.progressivebuckeyes.com, led the fight for the extension of student, staff, and faculty health plan benefits to domestic partners, confronted the univesity bureaucracy with a socially responsible investment policy for its endowment securities, established food labeling in our cafeterias, and launched a campaign for fair trade coffee in our university district.

2004 Elections

Total # of votes for Pureval/Mason: 2718
Total # of votes for Progressive Slate: 2029
Total # of votes for Weiss/Conway: 1418
Total # of votes for Jolley/Silverman(*): 1238
Total # of votes for Ghandakly/Moes: 361

2003 Elections

Total # of votes for Goodman/Sasso: 2431
Total # of votes for Progressive Slate: 1674
Total # of votes for Strohman/ Hempfling: 1160
Total # of votes for Hazard/Taylor: 1069
Total # of votes for Peters/Smolter: 853
Total # of votes for Bolte/Straka(*): 810
Total # of votes for Connolly/Kidston: 797

(*) Endorsed by The Lantern (our school newspaper)

2003 Elections

Total # of votes for Goodman/Sasso: 2431
Total # of votes for Progressive Slate: 1674
Total # of votes for Strohman/ Hempfling: 1160
Total # of votes for Hazard/Taylor: 1069
Total # of votes for Peters/Smolter: 853
Total # of votes for Bolte/Straka(*): 810
Total # of votes for Connolly/Kidston: 797

(*) Endorsed by The Lantern (our school newspaper)

The Campus Greens, in the last year have balanced Our outlays for movement-building and electoral campaigning, giving equal time to seek and get an injunction against The Ohio State University in federal district court to hold the 17th Annual Ohio Hempfest, while significantly increasing our representation in the student government in one of the most hotly contested battleground states.

New developments, such as the relationship between Campus Greens and Students for Kucinich, are promising and developing new models for horizontal coordination at our university. While we've also taken advantage of national confernce calls for Campus Greens to develop our fair trade coffee campaign with significant input and advice from Campus Green chapters across the nation.

Progressive students at Ohio State are closing ranks to bridge the gap between activism and elections, with the gradual realization that Coca-Cola may subsidize our student government, but that the choices of our future don't have to be between Coke and Pepsi.

Doug Wagner
Senator in the Ohio State Undergraduate Student Government
Ohio Green Party