Student reactions to the Occupy Wall Street movement have been mixed. While many were unaware of the protests in New York and around the country, OCCC’s students varied dramatically on their response.
Some students said they are upset with the perceived inconsistencies in actions taken.
“First of all, it seems like an anarchist movement,” Caleb Strong, political science major, said.
“I know that the Occupy Oklahoma movement is in Kerr McGee Park, a park given to the city by a corporation, so its kind of ironic how a movement that’s going against corporate greed is at a spot given to them by a corporation.”
Some people, like Eddy Rackley, management information systems major, said they like the motives behind the movement, but not necessarily the methods.
“I wish there were better ways to solve things like that, but I think its necessary for us to make a stand and let people know how we feel about things,” Rackley said.
Morgan Miller, political science major, represents a section of the student body that is generally supportive but still hesitant.
“I think it’s a very interesting movement,” Miller said.
“I’m glad to see that a large group of people are voicing their opinion publicly for something they are frustrated with.
“I think it lacks a little bit of direction, but it could turn into something very major and I’m very interested to see how it turns out.”
Occupy Wall Street began when a number of protesters gathered Sept. 17 in New York City’s Zuccotti Park, three blocks from Wall Street.
At the time, their goal was unclear but for just over a month there has been a constant presence by these people demonstrating that they “are the 99 percent.”
Protestors define this 99 percent as everyone not part of the wealthiest one percent of Americans.
Because of the universality of that message; many protests bearing “Occupy” in their names, in support of Occupy Wall Street, have sprung up around the country.
Nakeesa Overby, political science major, said, in general, she supports the “Occupy” movement.
“I think it’s a great thing,” Overby said.
“We’re exercising our right as a democracy and actually standing up for something for once.”
There are some older OCCC students that have experienced other great protests. Mary Newcome Hatch, pre-law and business major, is one such student.
“‘Occupy’ is about the younger generation being involved finally,” Hatch said.
“I have been so worried about the new generation’s apathy toward everything that I’m glad that they are using their voices and freedom of speech.
“I would compare it to the hippies from the 1960s. People only think of the hippies as being antiwar, but they fought for the three ‘E’s: economics, equality and employment.
“They fought, and, yes, we won. This is sort of an extension of that from the ’60s, and they brought it to this newer form.”
However mixed the reactions are, until the protests end Americans will have a new definition for the word “occupy.”
For more information on the Occupy Wall Street movement and news, visit their website at www.occupywallstreet.org.
To contact Mike Wormley,