Student protestors brave the cold to rally against Senate Bill 5

Caitlin Restelli

“It is cold, it is miserable, but then again so is Senate Bill 5,” yelled Kent State student Shaun Miller to students passing the M.A.C. Center.

Mother nature’s rainfall didn’t keep students from rallying against the bill Wednesday for 3 1/2 hours.

“What I’m out here to do is to let people know that we cannot let politicians take the laborer’s rights away from them,” said Miller, senior leisure studies major. “I feel that if they take their rights, what’s going to happen next? What else are they going to try to take away?”

Chrissy Francisco, College Democrats president and sophomore technology major, said some students passing by gave the thumbs up sign, cheered or joined the group to rally, while others simply looked confused.

Danielle Martin, junior French translation major, was running an errand when the rally came into her line of vision.

“I came up (to the rally) and asked Shaun if he had an extra sign. He did, so I joined,” Martin said. “I have a lot of mentors in the public education system at this university in particular, and I don’t want them to be negatively affected.”

Standing in the rain from 1:30 to 4 p.m., Francisco said she left cold and soaking wet.

“Hopefully tonight a lot of people will go home and look up what Senate Bill 5 is and see why we were standing out here,” Francisco said.

Sarah Rilling, English associate professor, stood outside with the students in a pink poncho holding a “Save Collective Bargaining” sign. She said she previously attended a rally in Columbus and Ravenna.

“I think that we need to make our voices heard,” Rilling said. “Basically America was built on unions, the middle class was built on unions, and I think we really need to protect the rights of workers.”

This rally was their way of getting the word out about how SB 5 affects students personally, Miller said. They want to hold a larger rally with speakers at a later date.

Contact Caitlin Restelli at [email protected].