The Efficacy of Protests: An Analysis of My Protest Work at Baylor University Through the Lens of Historic Student Activism




Penales, Veronica Bonifacio

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Protesting, as a vehicle to showcase public opinion on inadequate and unjust public policy, is necessary to participation in democracy. In this thesis I first provide a collection of protest work that tells the story of my student activism in the realm of sexuality, gender, and gender identity rights at Baylor University, in Waco, Texas, and across the nation. Secondly, I provide an analysis of three historic student-led protest movements: the Greensboro Sit-Ins of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, the Kent State Massacre of the anti-war efforts of the Nixon Administration, and the March for Our Lives Movement resulting from the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Through this analysis, I utilize a three-point framework established by scholar Paul Burstein that he deems are necessary for the efficacy of student-led protests: an existence of public opinion that has the strength to influence public policy; an existence of opportunity given salience regarding this opinion; and an addressing of outside factors that can influence the potential of new or reformed policy.



LGBTQ+ activism, protest work, student activism, student-led protests, efficacy of protests, petitions