At the Womens Music Festival hosted by Sexual Assault Counseling and Education, I became aware that one thing is distinctly lacking on Temple’s campus — activism.
This is not to invalidate the efforts of SACE or any other hugely successful campus organizations. These organizations function amazingly well, despite the lack of human resources and dedicated volunteers.
Shouldn’t activism and involvement be the norm rather than the exception?
Believe it or not, I’ve met students who came to college with ideals, hopes and the radical idea of making a difference. Luckily freshman orientation snapped them back into place — college is no place to change the world, it’s about getting by on minimal work, sliding into a cushy cubicle job or perhaps more socialization in the form of graduate school.
From there, you move to a “nice” suburb, with a “nice” house, “nice” SUV and settle into the pattern of mediocrity that every “successful” college graduate wants.
Unfortunately, most college students don’t recognize the privilege of college. But then, why should they? That’s not what “nice” people do. They don’t think or act upon any impulses besides selfishness.
I think that college has become, for most, extended day care. We’re still in middle school. We have scheduled activities in the dorms, approved parties in the frat houses, midterms and papers to regurgitate back to professors so we can stay in the Honors program.
We don’t need to think independently to be successful. We can go to college instead.
School spirit, despite what frat boys would say, is not about painting yourself and cheering really loud at the games. A really spirited school would have empty bleachers because all the kids are busy doing their own stuff.
You know, like saving the world, or being in a play about gender issues, or making puppets that teach North Philadelphia elementary students about nonviolence.
At the very least you could throw your cigarette butts into a garbage can so the grounds crew won’t have to play maid to your spoiled ass.
Get out of the bleachers. Take to the streets, the classrooms, everywhere — and do it now. Stop watching. Take your life into your hands.
So I guess this is my call to action. I’m looking for a few mildly interested college activists. I call for a mass mobilization of free thought and as a result, direct action. No more will we allow sexual assaults on our sisters.
We will not stand for racism, sexism or heterosexism within our campus community.
This is not hard. You just have to get off of your privileged ass and put some elbow grease into your life. The world is falling apart.
Our indifference allows this to continue. Our collective action could fix things.
Hopefully, you’ll decide that you don’t want a “nice” life anymore. Maybe it’s time for a real one.
Casey Crim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org