As a Washington University alumnus, I was disappointed but not surprised by the responses from fourth-year Olin Business School students regarding recent student protests at Bank of America’s on-campus recruiting events.
At the Olin Business School’s Career Fair and company presentations two weeks ago, the usual sights and sounds of well-dressed students learning about and pitching themselves to potential employers were interrupted by the coughing and shouting of individuals protesting Bank of America’s support and funding for mountaintop removal coal mining.
I have been surprised by the responses written in response to a Green Action protest, an event authors perceived as embarrassing and harmful to student’s “career interests.” As a recent graduate, I am not proud to have attended the same institution which has produced such an unthinking and hypocritical response to an act of social protest.
Last Wednesday, we too stood alongside Washington University students at the Olin Business School’s Meet the Firms event in the Charles F. Knight Executive Education & Conference Center.
Coughing dramatically and falling to the ground in front of a business school information session, around 35 Washington University students joined a national protest against Bank of America last week.
Last Thursday, I stood alongside Washington University students in protest. The demonstration targeted Bank of America’s financing of the coal industry; specifically, those corporations engaged in the hazardous and invasive practices of mountaintop coal removal mining in the Appalachian Mountains. Our protest took the form of two separate demonstrations.
Though a guard stood outside the campus’ Bank of America branch on Friday, the five Washington University students protesting the “corporate greed” of big banks that day didn’t require police restraint. The students were calling on their peers to boycott large banks and move their accounts to small, local banks or credit unions.
In a reversal of a decision announced last month, Bank of America announced Tuesday that it will not charge customers a $5 monthly fee for using a debit card to purchase items. The Bank’s initial decision announced on Oct. 1 sparked considerable backlash among its customers; an online petition against the fees at change.
Students have voiced aggravation with Bank of America’s recent decision to start charging $5 per month for the use of its debit cards. Many said that, while they understand that the fees were added in response to new economic pressures, they are still unhappy with the change. Some said they are considering other banking options as a result.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has come to St. Louis and members of the Washington University community are getting involved. The movement originated in New York City last month as a protest of corporate greed and the nation’s current economic policies. St. Louis residents have claimed Kiener Plaza, in downtown St.