Monday, September 11, 2006


Introducing the TCASK Student Caucus

There are long days and then there are long days. Sometimes you have those days that are just tiring and go one forever, where you just collapse at the end of them. And then there are long days that are just packed with activity. Those are the days where you are up and running around all day, but, at the end, though you are exhausted, you lay back and, before falling into a very deep sleep, can take a deep breath and be proud of the day you just spent. And Saturday was an example of the latter.

Because on Saturday, more than forty students from across Tennessee arrived at MTSU at 8:30 am (some having driven from Chattanooga or Memphis, to participate in the TCASK Student Conference Against the Death Penalty. The conference began with an inspiring address of State Representative Larry Turner in which he told students, "You are the present, don't let anyone tell you to wait for the future!"Students then had two series of workshops, focusing on campus organizing, the moratorium campaign, campus events, fundraising, and high school challenges, with lunch sandwiched in between. After the second round of workshops came break out sessions in which students formed the working groups that they would continue to work with throughout the year, networking between campuses across the state.

After brief pause for school delegations to meet among themselves and bring together the resources and skills they'd received in the different workshops. Then it was time for elections. Because the conference was designed to bring skills and new perspectives to students, but it was also designed to create a structure to facilitate student involvement by founding the TCASK Student Caucus. So students elected their leaders. Including chairs of each working group, a secretary, and two co-chairs of the caucus, one high school and one college student, to represent the student caucus on the board of TCASK. So the TCASK Board of Directors is now proud to welcome Allen McQueen in his new role, and Lillian Siman as our student representatives!

When you have students like this, willing to get up early on a Saturday morning and work all day to develop into leaders of the abolition movement, you know that you are headed in the right direction. Congratulations and thank you to all the students who took part. I know that we can expect great things from all of you!
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