Re: University follows national trend of passivism
“I’m not a political person.” I have heard Wash. U. students say this sentence many times as I attempt to organize around environmental issues on campus. The article “University follows national trend of passivism” (Feb. 13, by Michael Tabb) highlights this way of thinking, explaining how only six percent of college students nationally envision themselves participating in political protests.
However, even those who say they are not political are making a political statement—that they are okay with the status quo. This may be true. You may be perfectly happy with how the government operates and how this school is run, and not want to change a thing about either. But I’m betting that this is not the case. Maybe you are worried about student loans, or finding a well-paying job after college, or the amount of taxes you pay. Maybe you care about climate change or pollution, corruption in government, or where Wash. U. invests its money. I’m sure that there is some political issue, either at the campus, local, state, national or international level that you care about and want to change. The only way to make this change is by taking action.
I would like to encourage you to admit that if you care about making the world better in any way, you are a political person. The next time someone asks you to sign a petition, vote, or attend a rally or protest, don’t immediately dismiss it as something that you don’t do. Think about the changes that your actions could lead to, and consider taking a break from your busy academic and social life to take action. Next year is an election year, and Missouri is a swing state—think about getting involved by volunteering in a competitive state race or a presidential campaign. Or get involved right here on campus, where activism relating to issues like endowment transparency, energy usage, and diversity on campus is happening every day. Hopefully Wash. U. students can prove the national poll wrong by embracing activism, not passivism.