Andrew Goodman Foundation hosts phone bank

The Andrew Goodman Foundation fellows of Allegheny College hosted a phone bank in the Henderson Campus Center on Tuesday, Feb. 7, in an attempt to encourage students to phone their representatives and raise concerns about social and political issues they care about.

Yemi Olaiya, ’17, helped organize the event along with Maria Pineda, ’18, and said the primary goal of AGF is voter registration, but without any upcoming elections, they focus on specific issues of both local and national consequence.

Prior to the day of the phone bank, AGF received 22 submissions from students suggesting current topics to provide scripts for. The most commonly suggested topic was President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. Their example script for callers read, “I am opposed to any ban on Muslims entering the United States and I encourage the Senator to please oppose implementation of any such ban.”

AGF is “non-partisan,” according to Olaiya.

“We are not trying to tell people what to say, we just want to give them the resources to reach out to their representatives,” Olaiya said.

Acknowledging how busy a time of year this is for the Legislators and their staffers on Capitol Hill, Pineda said they just wanted their callers to be nice to the person answering the phone.

The phone bank, which was advertised as the “#WeStandWith Phone Booth,” was set up in the lobby of the campus center and was a continuation of the March on Washington, according to Olaiya.

AGF was first approached with the idea of hosting a phone bank by Luka Crozier, ’19, a member of the organization We Stand With.

“[We Stand With] is a loose affiliation of students – mostly students but not exclusively – who are concerned about some of the recent political trends and want to make their voices heard,” Crozier said.  “I can’t say for sure, but I think we are going to try and do it again.”

Olaiya said AGF is also working on a number of other projects.

“We are looking to get a polling site on campus,” Olaiya said. “We are also looking to other colleges to form a coalition against the Dakota pipeline.”