Raise the student voice

 

Here at the Cynic, we have noticed a disturbing trend throughout the semester – the student voice on campus is disappearing faster than the polar ice caps. 

It seems that our student body has suddenly forgotten about our power as a cohesive group, power that was well-exercised in the past. If something changes on campus, the once-loud roar of student opinion has gradually shifted to a sigh of, “Oh well I guess that’s kind of unfair; I hope somebody does something about it.”

In the mid-1980s, students decided that they did not like the Board of Trustees investing in companies that did business in South Africa during the Apartheid. They crashed the meetings, built wooden statutes and made their voices heard. The administration listened and divested.

Soon after, students turned their attention to combating racism. After two administration-building takeovers, trustees agreed to create an U.S. Ethnic Studies program and diversified both campus and curriculum. 

Fast forward to 2009. The student occupying of Waterman ended with students chaining themselves outside then-President Fogel’s office, refusing to leave unless the administration stopped planned layoffs and met their demands. Student negotiators even met with Fogel and Richard Cate to communicate their concerns. 

Since then, students largely display their anger about campus happenings via status updates on Facebook, followed by a brief barrage of “likes” and comments. But then the anger passes and nothing gets fixed.

We need to remember as students that the Board of Trustees is here to serve us; they have opened their ears to student opinion and yet there is silence on our end.

The Cynic finds this apathy unacceptable.

It seems that we are living in a contradictory world. Technology has allowed us to connect easily and spread messages instantly. At the same time, we are bombarded with so many messages daily that it is nearly impossible to communicate as a group. 

The way students have united over the Naked Bike Ride is exactly what needs to be replicated in tackling future issues. 

Students, consider this a call to action. We live in uncertain times. Know the issues, put down the iPhone and log out of Facebook.We can unite and accomplish more as a group.