“When you are so absolutely terrified, you don’t feel comfortable using any facility even though under Massachusetts state law, you’re allowed to use any facility, that’s an act of violence. That’s an act of dignity degradation,” says Justin Killian, one of Gender Liberation UMass’ founders.

Members and allies of GLU, which advocates for transgender, gender non binary and gender queer students at UMass, occupied the bathrooms at Whitmore Administration Building Monday November 15, 2016. The occupation was dubbed a “shit-in” with nearly 120 volunteers the first day.

The occupation lasted until Tuesday November 16. Members of GLU met with administration the following day and reached an agreement, according to Amherst Wire.

Reporting and production by Katie Donegan

Not a new story: the Dakota Access Pipeline

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The intertribal drum group, Urban Thunder, perform on the Whitmore Lawn at UMass Amherst. Nov. 4, 2016

The “NoDAPL Solidarity with Standing Rock Farmers Market Fundraiser” was held on Whitmore Lawn by the UMass Native American Student Association and Divest UMass, on Nov. 4, 2016.

Students, faculty and community members bought and sold homemade crafts and freshly picked produce with proceeds going directly to the Sacred Stone and Red Warrior Camp.

 

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Handmade crafts for direct donation to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Nov. 4, 2016
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UMass Amherst students and Amherst residents gather to listen to Indigenous speakers. Nov. 4, 2016

Reporting, producing and photography by Lucy Martirosyan.

WMUA News 2016 Ballot Questions

Question 1:

Ballot question one concerns implementing an additional slot license at casinos. WMUA News’ Hayley Benoit explains the affect it will have in Massachusetts, and each sides argument on to whether it should be implemented.

Question 2:

A vote ‘yes’ on question two would authorize the expansion of up to 12 charter schools per year in Massachusetts, raising the charter school cap placed before. Maria Manning explores the opposing sides for WMUA News.

Question 3:

Ballot question three concerns the containment of farm animals. The vote prohibits any farm owner or operator from knowingly containing an animal that prevents the animal from lying down standing up fully extending it limbs or turning around freely.  Voters have been divided on the question. WMUA News’ Ben Levine interviewed Peter Diemand of Diemand Farm in Wendell, MA.

Question  4:

Ballot question four concerns legalizing regulating and taxing recreational marijuana for Massachusetts residents 21 +, creating a Cannabis Control Commission. WMUA News’ Kyle Olsen explains both sides of the question.

Question 5:

Amherst voters come Nov. 8 will see Question Five on the ballot — which calls for a “debt exclusion override” to fund the construction of a new co-located school north of Amherst Center.

If Question 5 passes, it would demolish the existing Fort River and Wildwood elementary schools. Crocker Farm Elementary school would lose its grades 2-6 to the new “twin school.”

This grade reconfiguration is what worries Amherst parents Maria Kopicki and Laura Quilter who encourage Amherst voters to vote “no” on Question 5. WMUA News’ Lucy Martirosyan has more.

Amherst ballot question five means grade reconfiguration

 

Amherst voters come Nov. 8 will see Question Five on the ballot — which calls for a “debt exclusion override” to fund the construction of a new co-located school north of Amherst Center.

If Question 5 passes, it would demolish the existing Fort River and Wildwood elementary schools. Crocker Farm Elementary school would lose its grades 2-6 to the new “twin school.”

This grade reconfiguration is what worries Amherst parents Maria Kopicki and Laura Quilter who encourage Amherst voters to vote “no” on Question 5.

Uncovering the Labor Center budget cuts

 

The former director of the Labor Center Eve Weinbaum wrote a letter last month in September that sparked outcry by faculty and alumni of the program; inspiring the organization of Save the Labor Center, which has a petition with nearly 5000 signatures.

The term that grabbed everyone’s attention was “revenue generator,” which has apparently been an expectation of the center for years now.

This podcast was made in collaboration with WMUA News and The Daily Collegian. Check out the written story here: http://dailycollegian.com/2016/10/13/former-labor-center-director-describes-gradual-cuts-over-the-past-decade-to-esteemed-program/

Music: chillhop.bandcamp.com/track/hinterlands