Working with NYPIRG. by Germain Meza
January 02, 2020
This semester I had the pleasure of working with the campus NYPIRG chapter. NYPIRG stands for New York Public Interest Research Group, and it is a non-partisan and non-profit activist group that runs on 17 campus around New York state. This group has been working for over 40 years to help solve issues that face all New Yorkers. Some of the issues NYPIRG focuses on include food insecurity, voter rights, environmental issues, and consumer protection. This semester, I helped the group with registering students to vote, collecting food for the on-campus pantry, and gathering support through petitions and post cards for environmental campaigns, such as improving drinking water quality and stopping fossil fuel infrastructure. There was another campaign to help students have their voices heard directly by having them call Governor Cuomo’s office. I also assisted in coordinating an event to help students deal with common scams. Consumer education on cons is important, especially as many students were targeted by phishing emails. We had weekly workshops where we learned about how to run grassroots organizations, public outreach, and the best practices of activism. This internship was a great experience and really helped me to understand how activism really works and how through hard work and effort, change can happen. It was wonderful to help this organization with both large scale projects, like our drinking water quality project, as well as with more internal projects, like our trick-or-ear campaign where we collected over 1000 items of food for the on-campus food pantry.