One of our first client’s of the semester, Austin Heinrich, came to PRS in need of sponsorship and help. He was doing an internship with the Rhode Island Public Interest Group and needed help to accomplish a protest. Heinrich was involved with the campaign called Textbook Rebellion and wanted to protest about the cost of college textbooks. The Textbook Rebellion is a campaign that raises awareness to help make textbooks affordable and accessible. On Tuesday September 27, we went out into the quad from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help Heinrich protest. His goal was to obtain 500 students’ names, signed on petitions. It was an overall success. There was also a cardboard thermometer sent up on the quad where students could write how much money they spent on textbooks during the semester. A story about the protest was posted in The Good 5 Cent Cigar, the following day.
I helped out Heinrich during the protest on the quad. First, I made sure I was informed about Textbook Rebellion and knew what the organization was about. Carrying around petition papers, I urged students walking on the quad to sign them. When approaching them, I discussed the high cost of textbooks and what Textbook Rebellion is doing about this problem. I also handed out flyers that contained the website for Textbook Rebellion so that students would be able to find out more information about the campaign. The greatest feeling was when I had someone sign the last petition paper and that I had been able to help Heinrich accomplish his goal. The best tactics I found for having people sign the petition was either targeting my friends or targeting a group of people walking together and talking to them about the cause all at once. Overall, this was a great way for PRS to start the year.
We later had the Bookstore put out a sign showing their support for Rhode Island Public Interest Research Group! That was a really great accomplishment.
Written by: Courtney Afonso, Junior general member