Photo via @studentsagainstschmucker on Instagram
The Students Against Schmucker (SAS) organization has recently gained a good amount of recognition on campus. Peighton Schwalm, a member of the student-run group, knows the ins and outs of being involved in a campaign like SAS.
Schwalm is a senior majoring in English Writing and minoring in Journalism. She was a part of the English seminar class that created the campaign. Last semester, just around ten students were involved in some way with the campaign, but the number has grown slightly since then. This is Schwalm’s first time being involved with an organization like this.
“I haven’t been a part of a group like this before, so it feels really good to be involved in a campaign like this and know that I’m making a difference,” said Schwalm.
The group was started after the English seminar students began discussing the Samuel Schmcuker article that was published in The Quad. After that, the students began meeting after class to further discuss what action they could take to spread awareness. Shortly after that, the campaign took off.
“My favorite part about working with SAS was the people that I worked with. Having peers that are so supportive and working hard by my side made the whole experience even more enjoyable and rewarding,” said Schwalm.
As exciting and fun it is to be a part of an organization like this, the hard work behind the scenes is no walk in the park. The students have done a lot of hard work to ensure their message is successfully passed through the community.
“SAS did many things throughout the campaign. For example, we created a petition for faculty/staff and helped to gain signatures on the student petition, we created zines and flyers that were posted all around campus, we brought forth information at the Council of Trustees meeting, we created tables outside around campus to talk with other students, and we created an Instagram account,” said Schwalm.
The SAS organization has luckily seen some progress. As of just two weeks ago, the West Chester University Council of Trustees passed the Naming University Facilities and Programs Policy. Although this is a step towards advancement, the campaign could always use more members if students are interested.
“If students are looking to learn more, I would recommend reaching out to the new Namesake Committee that will be investigating Schmucker and hopefully curating a report for action. Students can also contact the SAS group through their Instagram account, @studentsagainstschmucker,” said Schwalm.
The SAS campaign has been successful so far, and so much more is to come for the group. Schwalm is one of many who have made a difference on WCU’s campus. Hopefully in the near future, we will see more steps being taken to support the group’s cause.
“It feels rewarding knowing that our hard work has paid off. Although there is still a lot to be done, the fact that a small group of students were able to create a campaign that sparked institutional change has shown me that I have a voice. Anyone with motivation for change can do so if they put their minds to it, and although many people find change to be scary, sometimes it is necessary. Our voices matter, and I know that both myself and my campaign members have (and will continue to) support that idea to ensure that everyone can feel comfortable and proud of their educational environment,” said Schwalm.
Jamie Simonds is a fourth-year media and culture major with minors in digital marketing and journalism. JS928049@wcupa.edu.