A few weeks ago, Knox students participated with Galesburg community members at a Tea Party rally at Lincoln Park. Last year, Killer Coke was a presence on campus that asked students to examine their actions and their power as consumers.
In the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years, the Take Back the Night event organized by SASS was considerably larger than it was last year, complete with a night-long campout on Seymour lawn. Events like Artsplosion used to be more common, and the Knox Republicans, even on this campus, used to have more of a presence. In the fall of 2008, a group of about 20 students traveled through the night to New York City to protest against the holding of political prisoners.
What is happening to Knox? Is it truly getting less passionate? Less thoughtful and focused on true change, both on our campus and in the world? There are certainly things that indicate an effort is still being made; most years, Estudiantes sin fronteras travels to Chicago to participate in the May Day march, and indeed students were a part of the counter-protest at the Tea Party rally.
This is not to say that TKS specifically endorses any of these things. We just think that campus was better when there were students constantly speaking out for what they believed, for the changes they wanted to make. And sure, it’s early in the term. Maybe we need to give these things a chance. But even last year, it seemed like there was far less to look forward to in terms of campus activism than in years prior.
With so much happening in our nation and in the world, how can Knox be as silent as it is? We’ve seen the worst oil spill, one of the most polarizing presidencies, the constant delay on repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and countless other initiatives that need voices to speak for them, to raise awareness. Where have our voices gone?
This is not to say that there is a lack of passionate individuals on this campus. This is to say that perhaps we’ve gotten lazier or worse at organizing ourselves around these passions and putting them into action within the past year. And of course, complaining won’t get us anywhere. If we here on staff want to see change, we also are responsible for making it happen. But it’s on everyone else as well. Don’t get disillusioned, thinking this campus is too small to matter. While apathy is something that exists the world over, we are the ones who have to work on eliminating it at Knox. People will listen if you keep up with your cause, make them listen.