Combating consumerism

With Black Friday — a national day of consumerism — approaching, a group of students has decided to stop spending. A campus consumer standstill will occur on Nov. 15 as a precursor for a national consumer freeze campaign which will take place on Black Friday, Nov. 26. “Since we aren’t going to be in school for Black Friday, [Nov. 15] will be a day with that holiday in mind,” event representative Sydney Stieler said. “The goal is the boycott of buying anything on campus for the day,” she said. “We’re doing a lot of workshops, providing food and music, so don’t buy anything — but we’ll be providing a lot of free stuff at the same time.” The day’s mission is to foster a community that supports waste reduction, creativity, local recourses and food systems and that shares ideas, skills and materials, according to the movement’s Facebook event page. “If we stop consuming for a day, I believe that people would come to realize how dependent they really are on consumer goods,” Sophomore Elise Gloeckner said. “It will definitely be hard, and I’m sure inconvenient for many, but I think the experience is an important one.” Although a complete consumer freeze is the event goal, group members acknowledge that the achievement of this is not probable. “First off, I don’t think that all people are going to take part in the event, although I’d love it,” Stieler said. “But I agree that even if they consume less it will send a clear message about the power of student body to Sodexo among other vendors. The day will include a number of events including T-shirt stenciling in front of the library, a free public potluck and a free market at which students are encouraged to bring and swap thrift items, artwork, coupons, songs and more, the event page stated. It will also present live music, as well as free mugs, reusable cups, workshops and educational sessions, according to event page. “Look around and keep your eyes peeled for a schedule of events because they’ll be on the flyers we’re posting around campus,” Stieler said. “We could make a statement that other campuses can look to.” “Imagine if students across the country could work together to effect change on universities everywhere,” she said.