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Toward a More Perfect Student Unionism: Lessons From the Maple Spring

Activists from CUNY hold forth on what the US student movement needs now.

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Given how profoundly US students have been cut off from channels of power at universities, the road before us may be long. But if we hope to achieve our goals, we first must realize, collectively, that the social conditions we face as students are not inevitable. We can’t just erect tents in the middle of our campuses and expect the world to change around us. We need to take control of our own minds, as well as take space. Only then will we breathe new life into our educational system.


Biola Jeje is an undergraduate student at Brooklyn College studying political science. Last year she helped form New York Students Rising, a statewide network of student groups organizing in defense of public higher education.

Isabelle Nastasia is an undergraduate student in the CUNY Baccalaureatte Program studying critical pedagogy and intersectionality. She is a co-founder of the New York to New Orleans Coalition, a youth-led service-learning organization.

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