Victory

Allow TCNJ Student Organizations to Raise Money for the BLM Movement

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It has recently come to my attention that student organizations at The College of New Jersey are being prohibited from fundraising for the BLM/anti-police brutality movement, or any other cause, and the use of Venmo or any other source of crowdfunding for this purpose has been banned. While orgs are allowed to post direct donation links to allow others to donate on their own, this takes the power away from orgs to take more direct action and eliminates a convenient source of fundraising that they have used successfully without issue for other purposes for years. Although TCNJ is enforcing this policy for fundraising efforts of any kind, including those not linked to BLM, the enforcement of this policy comes at time when BLM is a very salient issue that needs our support and the prevention of fundraising efforts as a whole is making it difficult for organizations to offer effective and tangible support of this movement. As a member of a greek organization, I have been told by those in charge of our chapter that the use of these platforms to donate money will be met with punitive action due to a TCNJ policy, even in cases where the fundraising effort is not done on behalf of TCNJ or our organization. This rule is in effect for all TCNJ organizations and one has allegedly gone to conduct for violating it. I find this to be a violation of the personal lives of TCNJ organization members and an example of institutional overreach. Venmo has been used as a means of raising money by many campus organizations for a variety of causes for years and nothing has been said about it prior to its use for BLM, despite claims by TCNJ that this policy has been in place prior to this incident - why is that? 

I refuse to stand down and allow TCNJ to police my personal activism and I have no desire to be a member of any community that will not take an actively supportive stance on this human rights issue and will go out of its way to hinder my ability to do so. During past incidents of campus racism, TCNJ has held forums, created diversity and inclusion committees, and sent emails, but by not allowing their organizations to take a stance that extends beyond cutesy Instagram infographics and hashtags, their's has become clear; you simply cannot claim to care about black lives while putting forth policies that make it clear you do not value them. A weak email sent days after discussion ignited proclaiming that we "stand together" simply is not enough, and I am calling on TCNJ to allow its organizations to make a difference through the reversal of these policies. Our organizations hold power in the TCNJ community and if given the opportunity to do so, I believe that we have the ability to contribute to a future that affords everyone the basic right to life that they deserve. As an institution of higher learning, we need to do better. 



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