Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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NU student activists launch first ‘Disorientation Week’ with opening meeting

Illustration by June Woo
NU student activists dined on tacos and nachos during the first day of “Disorientation Week.”

More than a dozen students convened in University Hall on Sunday to mark the first day of “Disorientation Week: What Northwestern Won’t Teach Us,” a series of teach-ins, discussions and bonding events hosted by various campus organizations. 

Representatives from Fossil Free NU, Undergraduate Prison Education Partnership, Reform CAPS, NU Graduate Workers and Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance, among others, took turns to present on their organizations’ history and work in activism. Attendees also munched on nachos and tacos catered from La Cocinita.

“The primary theme throughout this week is … what are the lessons we can pull from our history and our recent presence and change-making work on campus,”  Communication senior Jordan Muhammad, Fossil Free NU’s senior organizer, said. “We also want to look at the future presence of organizations on campus.”

Muhammad, who helped coordinate the week’s events, added that ki hopes other student organizations can continue to engage in community building to offer new opportunities.

Students began planning for the event at the start of the Winter Quarter, drawing inspiration from “Disorientation Week” at the University of Chicago. The organizers said they plan to hold the event annually every Fall Quarter.

Adam Goldsmith, a sixth-year Ph.D. candidate in communication studies, is a member of the NUGW’s bargaining committee. He said he came to the event to educate himself on campus activist initiatives while informing others about the union’s recent collective bargaining efforts.

“I wanted to learn what other organizations have been up to, their histories, their tactics, their wins and lessons learned,” Goldsmith said. “I wanted to contribute to that, where I can talk about how history is coming to the present and near future with our collective bargaining that is going on.”

Attendees also raised questions and discussed with each other during presentations.

Communication sophomore Mel McDaniel, a Pow Wow Planning Committee co-chair of NAISA, said she appreciated the opportunity to learn new information from other groups.

“It’s always comforting to be in a group with people that are like-minded, just having a space where we can also mingle with other groups with similar interests,” McDaniel said.

The schedule for the rest of the week will feature movie nights, a teach-in held by NUGW and discussions about labor history, decision making and fast fashion.

Muhammad said it’s important that students continue to self-educate on NU’s history of student activism.

“Especially for those interested in change-making work and interested in becoming active citizens of this university, it’s really valuable to know our history, our reality,” ki said. “Time and time again, our university is not going to tell us about our student movements and not show us how powerful we can be. We need to be the ones telling each other that.”


Email: [email protected]

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