Committee meets to establish goals for mutual aid


Ryan Clark

Lab parent Zachery Carter proposes a potential name and logo for the mutual aid program.

Ryan Clark, Assistant Editor

A committee of parents, faculty and students hoping to build networks of solidarity that will fulfill communal needs met Nov. 9 to discuss goals for the program, decide on a name, choose a technological platform and create working groups. The meeting preceded a formal vote on the different proposals that will occur later this week.

Lab parent Zachery Carter proposed naming the mutual aid program “SLAB,” an abbreviation for “Solidarity Lab” and as an allusion to different meanings of the word “slab” such as a deep, powerful wave.

The committee assessed the merits of a variety of technological platforms ranging from Google Forms to more complex paid services that could be used for mutual aid. Each would allow members of the community to request help or volunteer in a systematic fashion.

“A misconception is that it is charity work,” said Brent Pennington, a junior on the committee. “The purpose of mutual aid is to provide something on both sides, and one of the ways to do that is by connecting with other people in the community.”

The committee members said that the program will include faculty and staff, alumni, students and their families including those taking a leave of absence. The group hopes that it will extend throughout the South Side beyond Lab once the program is operational.

Brent also said that the platform could eventually be used to coordinate creative projects like mural-painting in addition to aid.