by Joe Courter
It began at a Civic Media Center volunteer meeting in 1998. All the Greek rush was going on as usual at the UF campus, and at first the thought came up as a joke, a parody of this annual ritual. Like “Rush CMC.”
But then as the idea was tossed around, it was pointed out that it was pretty functional for them, and perhaps we could use the concept to benefit ourselves. Someone else pointed out that “radical” has a definition of getting to the root, of seeking fundamental change, and if we invited other progressive groups, it would be good for everyone, because we all need members, and “rush” means, in the case of the (college) Greeks, entertain bids for membership.
And thus, “Radical Rush” was born. Groups were contacted, dates set, tables borrowed, and it was done with over 20 groups participating.
And almost every year since then the CMC has helped coordinate the event at the UF campus, and in recent years also incorporated Santa Fe College. The dates for this year are Monday, Sept. 23, for SFC (in the Oak Grove) and then Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 24 and 25 down the diagonal sidewalk on the UF Plaza of the Americas.
It serves other purposes beyond just groups getting new sign-ups. It incorporates community organizations as well as campus-based groups, which helps break though that town/gown divide that so often affects college towns. And also, the activists from the many different organizations can be in one place and meet each other, too. Groups that join in are listed in the annual guide, which has a short description of the groups and their contact information.
Rad Rush is all about empowering progressive organizations, from campus and community, to grow and succeed, be it environmental, social justice, human rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, or political groups that support human needs over corporate greed. Watch for it and become part of making our little corner of the world, and the world beyond, a better place.