Economic teach-in held

  In response to the Occupy Wall Street movement, a two-hour teach-in was held in the Ira Allen Chapel Oct. 24. The teach-in, organized by the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics, involved a forum of graduate students, professors and guest speakers that focused on progressive issues ranging from the origin of currency to the rise of income inequality. Each speaker held a five-minute speech on economic issues that have been brought up by the recent Occupy protests and focused on direct responses to the issues at large. Afterwards, attendees joined speakers in smaller groups to discuss and propose solutions. “This teach-in is a share of ideas,” said Professor Jon Erickson, managing director of the Gund Institute. “The broader public is demanding swift reform.” The event was originally developed by students at the Gund Institute who wanted to provide knowledge to the general public in response to the escalading economic protests, Erickson said. “We talk about these issues all the time and we simply wanted to offer more education to the public,” said Aaron Witham, a graduate student at the Rubenstein school and a Gund Institute fellow. The students originally proposed a teach-in in New York City with a “dress-rehearsal” at UVM, but interest in the event grew substantially as the protests expanded, said Erickson. “Inspired by this call, people around the country should get together at events like this,” said Brian Kelley, a graduate student and Gund Institute fellow. Erickson said that the Gund Institute and its affiliated student body are currently working on bringing the teach-in to New York City and will continue to open discussions on current economic issues with the Burlington community.