Over the past 18 months students, faculty, staff, and concerned citizens have been voicing our concerns regarding austerity measures, formally known as TransformUS, and leadership issues at the University of Saskatchewan. There were many actions throughout the regular academic school year. However, tensions flared on campus on May 14th, when Robert Buckingham, Dean of the School of Public Health, was fired for speaking out against TransformUS. This led to immediate national coverage and student leaders were quick to seize the opportunity to defeat TransformUS.
Student organizing culminated in an historic rally, appropriately titled DefendUS, at the University on May 18th, where 600 students, faculty, and concerned citizens made their voices heard. Organizers of this rally included many Next Up alumni, including Nick Marlatte, Amanda Guthrie, Rachel Malena, Dan LeBlanc, and Alyssa Scott. Undoubtedly, many of the tools and lessons we acquired through Next Up made it possible for us to organize one of the largest protests in Saskatchewan in recent history. The protest led to the termination of the University President Ilene Busch-Vishniac. Further actions are soon to unfold as students, faculty, and concerned citizens continue to defend the University of Saskatchewan.
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Amanda Guthrie, NU Sask 3 Alum // Next Up Saskatchewan