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.