This Thursday students of Minnesota State University, Mankato walked out of class to protest the $8 million being slashed from their budget.
Last year 79.5 positions were cut at the university and an additional 30 to 82.5 will be cut this year. Their actions were part of a national day of action in defense of public education. The picket consisted of over 30 students and many bystanders, and an unknown number of other students did not show up to their classes. The event’s webpage (occupymsu.wordpress.com) received 95 hits that day, and 45 the day before.
The day started out with a small group of students walking in on a breakfast for the heads of the departments, bringing them sweet rolls as a peace offering. “We are fighting today for you, we don’t want to see you lose your jobs and we don’t want to see the downsizing of our education,” one student told them. One faculty member responded, “Give ‘em hell!”
The picket had a continuing dance party theme. Even though authorities repeatedly shut down the music, striking students did not allow this to break their spirits and acoustic guitars and singing picked up where amps left off. A 9ft. tall Mr. Money Bags puppet was also present, representing MnSCU Chancellor James McCormick and his $377,982 a year salary.
Later that night a small roaming dance party started after the homecoming coronation ended. It eventually meet up with a Chicano student group, which invited the dancers to join their pizza party.