Photo by Carissa Woytach

Socalist Society members and their supporters continue their protest of the president’s housing purchase and funding priorities at Cleveland State.

 

April 19, 2016

Socialist Society protests purchase of President Berkman’s new house

Marching from the front of the Music and Communication building to the courtyard behind the Student Center, the Student Socialist Society (SSS) continues to protest Cleveland State University’s decision to purchase President Ronald Berkman a new house.

As covered in previous issues of the Cleveland Stater, the CSU Foundation decided to purchase Berkman a new house following his complaint that his current apartment at The 9 is too small to entertain. Shortly after the decision, Robert Opsahl, a member of SSS, created an online petition urging the foundation to reconsider its decision.

Although the petition gained steam, the group has been largely ignored by the administration, according to Danny Arraj, a member of the society. Because of being ignored, the group has continued to protest the purchase, often comparing the president’s $450,000 yearly salary to the ever-mounting bubble of student debt.

While SSS has no formal leadership, all members work together for common goals, which includes protesting problems such as income inequality, the treatment of adjunct faculty and student debt.

Before the march began, the group rallied outside, using the courtyard between the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and the Music and Communication building, amassing a small crowd. While being filmed by men from WKYC, Opsahl, Patrick Mahoney, another member of SSS, and Arraj, spoke on the reasons for their protest, citing personal stories of friends facing hunger and homelessness for the cost of their tuition while the university, from their point of view, spends money irresponsibly.

“We’re all here for student power,” said Patrick Mahoney, a member of SSS, addressing the gathered protestors. “Democracy is important, right? This is what democracy looks like. Democracy is when we get together with a combined interest that is not influenced by some kind of moneyed interest, [its] us coming out here on our own time because we believe in equality.”

Chanting slogans such as, “What do we want? Student Power! When do we want it? Now!” — they marched along Euclid Avenue and through the Student Center, while varying their chants to include “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Berkman’s house has got to go,” they spoke again briefly in the courtyard before dispersing.
For more information on planned demonstrations and other movements involving the SSS, those interested can contact studentsocialistsociety@gmail.com.



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