The Vermont Cynic

Student activism falls flat


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Nearly 350 people RSVP’d “going” to an event titled “Give Us Back Our Reading Days! Student Protest” on Facebook.

Only about 10 actually showed up Jan.25.

ALYSSA HANDELMAN/The Vermont Cynic

ALYSSA HANDELMAN/The Vermont Cynic

The event was created following a Faculty Senate vote to remove reading days from the academic calendar. This change will take place starting in the 2016-2017 school year.After meeting at the library, the protesters marched through Central Campus and entered the Davis Center atrium. The protesters’ next stop was the Waterman building where they approached the executive offices but were locked out by an administrator.

The initial action by stu- dents upset by the decision to eliminate reading days was hopeful and promising. On Dec. 11, SGA President Jason Maulucci and Vice President Tyler Davis sent a letter via email to the Faculty Senate entitled “Reading Days, Mental Health and Academic Success.”

The Facebook page was full of comments back and forth by members, and as of Jan. 25, an online petition had over 2,000 signatures.

The intentions and actions of the few people who put in an effort to attend the effort and

exercise their First Amendment rights is, no doubt, commendable. However, the same cannot be said for the roughly 350 people whose action ended when they clicked “going” on Facebook.Letters, petitions and protests are all incredibly useful tools students can use to create change and a positive impact at their University. However, clicking “like” isn’t enough to make this change.

As students, we need to advocate for ourselves, make sure our voices are heard and directly raise our concerns to the people who are making major decisions.

The board of trustees meetings are excellent venues to do this, and the next one will be held Feb. 4 to 6.

Never be afraid to use your voice. If you don’t participate, nothing will change.

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Student activism falls flat