UM students start group to oppose death penalty

With the beginning of the spring semester, the U of M student group Montana Students Against the Death Penalty began activities to raise awareness and gain membership in their efforts to help abolish the death penalty during the 2015 Legislative session.

Laura Fendrick, a social work student, started the group as part of a practicum position with the Montana Abolition Coalition in an effort to create a volunteer presence on the University of Montana campus.

Activities such as tabling, speaking in classes, and joining forces with other campus groups such as The Innocence Project are on the group’s agenda, as they hope to grow their student volunteer base and prepare for action after the November elections.

The student group lobbied for and were awarded funds through the ASUM Senate on Campus to put towards community action efforts. They plan to be involved in abolition lobbying at the capital in Helena, and partaking in Abolition Day, sponsored by the Montana Abolition Coalition.   Other activities will be aiding constituents in contacting their representatives, petitioning, and phone banking with Abolition Coalition volunteers.

During tabling sessions on campus, it was discovered that many students were unaware of the issues surrounding the death penalty. After receiving information and partaking in discussion, many students showed interest in becoming more involved. It is the hopes of Montana Students Against the Death Penalty that their efforts, combined with those of community volunteers, will lead to a success in ending this broken and ineffective law in the year 2015. You can “like” their Facebook page, or visit their website.