Low numbers equal high hopes for Progressive Action Coalition

by Will Steingreaber

For senior Katie Ziskovsky, the Progressive Action Coalition hasbeen more than just a campus activity, it’s been a way of life.

Now, with Ziskovsky and others graduating, some are unsurewhether this way of life will sustain.

When Ziskovsky first came to Simpson in the fall of 2000, therewere a number of different groups that supported the causes PACfights for.

Those causes included environmental awareness, socialconsciousness, and political involvement. With people busilyrunning from meeting to meeting to cover all the different forums,students like Ziskovsky had an epiphany- they should combine allthe groups into one large organization.

That was the beginning of PAC. The 10 students that started PACwere awarded a theme house on C Street, the only co-ed theme houseon Simpson’s campus. They lived in a communal habitat whereZiskovsky said they could “help each other out and shareresources.” And the best part was they only had one meeting toattend and it was in the confines of their own home.

Through living together, the students involved in PAC becamemore and more focused on their agenda.

They began to take a more demonstrative role in liberal activismand tried to make students more aware that their vote counts.

Some of PAC’s most memorable events came directly as a result ofthis community living.

“Over the last two years we have done Shantytown, an energyawareness week, and a Citigroup protest,” said Ziskovsky. “That waspretty neat because we had a huge Citigroup balloon. We also didthe infamous Wal-Mart protest with the chickens to attractattention to unfair labor practices. Living in the house reallyhelped us to grow as a group.”

This year, however, PAC wasn’t able to get enough people torequest the house for another year.

Instead of the 10 they needed for the theme house next year,they only had nine willing to live in the co-ed community. Becauseof this, many feel that PAC is an endangered species.

Ziskovsky hopes to quell those beliefs.

“I anticipate that they’ll stay together as a group and that PACwill continue to grow,” said Ziskovsky. “They might all gettogether and live off-campus, or they might just live on campus butnot together. Regardless, PAC will continue to be around.”

Ziskovsky would also like to see PAC grow in numbers.

“I would love to see more liberal activism here on Simpson’scampus,” said Ziskovsky. “A lot of people don’t participate becausethey are busy and don’t have the time, but I really feel that it issomething they should make time for. It’s important. This is ourfuture.”