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MISO: Mansfield Institute Student Organization

Mansfield inaugurated a new branch of its work in late 2011 called the Mansfield Institute Student Organization (MISO). As an advisor but not a leader of MISO, Dr. Erik Gelman helped the organization develop over the course of the past six months through student interest and ideas.

During weekly meetings students have reflected on issues ranging from the Pipeline Project, to living wage campaigns, to education projects like tutoring and restorative justice.  A core of 8-10 students attend meetings and have begun to coordinate work concerning their different forms of activism on campus. 

Over the past ½ year two organizers from UNITE-HERE Local 1 attended weekly meetings to discuss tactics and MISO attended an off-campus training session as a group for the Airport Living Wage campaign. Thereafter, students in MISO followed up by attending other trainings, rallies (including one at City Hall), and demonstrations. Beyond working on this economic justice campaign, students have appreciated how this training proved useful in organizing for their own student groups and priorities. Also, one of our members has been accepted into UNITE-HERE’s paid organizer training program this summer.

MISO has a bright future.  Plans for the fall semester in 2012 include an early recruiting drive and social justice event hosted by MISO to launch this organization. All of the most active members will return next year and they aspire to coordinate and push social justice work throughout the University and into local Chicago neighborhoods.