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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Little Creek Movement transitions to GUAC


By Eva Hill

The organization previously known as th Little Creek Movement has undergone significant changes in the past year. Originally founded as a resistance force against the Dakota Access Pipeline, the group took its name from Little Creek Camp, an Iowa-based center for opposition to the pipeline. This year, they’ve rebranded as the Grinnell United Activism Coalition, or GUAC for short.

GUAC co-chairs Rebecca Villa ’21 and Daniella Butler ’20 have lead the group’s recent changes. Villa is the group’s racial justice campaign leader, while Butler is in charge of event coordination. The other two co-chairs, Oscar Buchanan ’21 and Sam Walker ’21, are responsible for the group’s logistical and art-related needs, respectively. Dylan Bremner ’20, the original founder, has stepped back from leadership and is now involved with Student Action.

In addition to the leadership changes, the group now has a designated dorm floor, Cleveland first, which means the group recieves funding from Residence Life. GUAC is currently planning to get some new furnishings for their lounge, where they hold meetings, to make it into a more inviting space. Both Villa and Butler agree that GUAC’s mission to create an open, welcoming community is well-aligned with the goals of Residence Life, and that alignment has facilitated goodwill between the two organizations.

As of now, Villa says, the group’s focus is on activism for racial justice on campus: “We want to host events to get people talking about racial justice in an attempt to change campus culture around the topic, as well as striving for administrative changes to make the campus more diverse and inclusive.”

This is a new campaign for the group which they began this year, in response to multiple racially-motivated incidents that occurred last semester. Butler listed a few of these incidents, which include the harassment of a Black professor, the harassment of a Black student, racist vandalism of a poster, a Gardner that was halted due to students chanting the n-word, and the more recent events on the Facebook group Grinnell Thumbs Down, which involved the blocking of many Black members of the page with little to no reason, resulting in a leadership change within the group.

In addition to the racial justice campaign, GUAC also wants to create spaces where students can meet each other and make new friends. The organization created Friendos Table, an event that occurs in the dining hall every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m., where students who feel isolated or want to meet new people can find a welcoming space to eat dinner. The group’s weekly meetings, which are focused around planning for the ongoing racial justice campaign, are also open to all students; those meetings are at 2 p.m. on Saturdays in the Cleveland first lounge.

Another goal for the group this semester is to make their voices heard in response to decisions they deem unfair or unreasonable. Asked whether the group had concerns that speaking out against the administration could lower the funding they currently receive, Butler said, “We existed last year with almost no funding from the administration. The funding that we’re getting now is great, but it’s certainly not needed for us to exist.”

“The demands we’re making can only benefit the college,” Butler added.

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