Walking out

Students should be aware that there are numerous ways to support issues important to them. As Angelo Fichera and Amanda Plaskin report in “Walkout, teach-in highlight student interest in Occupy” p. 1   , approximately

Students should be aware that there are numerous ways to support issues important to them.

As Angelo Fichera and Amanda Plaskin report in “Walkout, teach-in highlight student interest in Occupy” p. 1   , approximately 100 students walked out of their classes at noon on Oct. 21 to show support for Occupy Philadelphia, an on-going protest movement at City Hall that started on Oct. 6.

It is not our place to tell students whether or not they should support the Occupy Philadelphia movemen or university protests, but we can suggest ways for students to make a real impact on issues surrounding them.

The Temple News encourages students to vote. If they do not like what the government is doing, take steps to ensure those officials do not get re-elected at the polls and elect individuals that will act in their best interests. For example, if students were unhappy with the cuts in state appropriations to the university, it would not be in students’ best interests to see Gov. Tom Corbett re-elected.

Second, join or create a group that serves a specific purpose, whether formed by students or not. Ideas can get lost in the proverbial shuffle of goals, so students should join a specific group that pushes a particular agenda. It may not receive the same amount of exposure as Occupy Philadelphia, but smaller groups can raise awareness for a specific issue or perform a service in the community, which can have a long-lasting impact.

And finally, The Temple News encourages students to attend classes. Will going to one class change the world? No, but think about the big picture. Even if one is not a political science major, there are numerous classes around Temple that can help students become more informed about both local and national issues. Also, earning a degree sets students on the path to earning a job and hopefully putting them in a position where they have a platform to enact real change.

Occupy Philadelphia has some merit as the protest and its counterparts in other cities are bringing numerous issues into the public spotlight, but it won’t last forever. More has to be done than simply spending a day or week camped out at City Hall to create some real change in the nation.


  1. Sorry, my friend, but you are dead wrong. First of all, voting does not address specific issues. I care about things like fixing the very flawed, very racist, and utterly atrocious criminal justice system. I want to dismantle the prison and military industrial complexes. These are by no means radical proposals; I mean, who doesn’t want to see an end to systematic racism and the mass killings of hundreds of thousands of brown people around the world? I can’t vote for any candidate who feels simIlarly or will even begin to question systems of racist and classist oppression because such a candidate doesn’t exist within a two party system! What I can do, however, is join a mass movement of people who legitimately care about the well being of other people. This group, although they have no ‘coherent’ list of demands yet, is now international. Are the democrat and republican parties supported nationally? Absolutely not–the American political system is a joke! We are hated globally because of our imperialist wars, our neoliberal environmental policies, and our total disregard for the welfare of our citizens! Voting does not, and can not, do enough to change the system unless there is a viable third party candidate and in order for such a candidate to emerge and have a chance of winning any election, people need to become conscious of that fact that A. We do not have to live in a country where there is vast economic, racial, and gender inequality; and B. That we, as individuals, are not alone in our discontents and that we, as a group, have the power to make major structural change.

  2. *Implying our military exists for the sole purpose of committing ethnic genocide while our Commander-in-Chief is one of the “brown people”*

    *Implying we shouldn’t have a prison system*

    Those aren’t radical ideas at all. Nope.

    *Implying the overwhelming Republican takeover of the House after Obama’s election didn’t change the political environment whatsoever*

    *Implying third party candidates have done any good besides steal votes from other candidates to give one candidate an edge over the other*

    You’re a political science major? Do they let just anyone with an opinion graduate with that degree? I’m no Democrat, but I at least respect the fact that they use logic and reasoning to back up their statements besides saying the Government is a death machine.

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