Don’t let yourself fall into apathy; you have a voice

Commentary

Not since 9/11 have I seen our nation share one common emotion, albeit grief. But even as bells tolled 32 times across the country on Friday, we were left with unanswered questions. Some will never yield us answers. Still, the questions must be asked.

As a nation grieves, anger is part of that process. And journalists are easy targets for venting that ire with their relentless questions and prying.

Yet, that is the responsibility of our free press, of our journalists – to pursue answers from those who have accepted a position of power and are to a large degree charged with our
safety.

Within our campus community, those in power are our administrators, and they should hear opinions or questions about campus safety from students and parents.

On a larger scale, our legislators should be faced with sobering questions as old issues are revisited: gun control, privacy and our mental health care system.

However, the responsibility to ask questions and offer opinions does not rest solely with the press. We all have a duty to question authority and speak our minds. To me, this is the job of every U.S. citizen.

I learned last week that my opinion is most likely in the minority on our campus.

I was shocked to find that apathy reigns amongst our new generation. One student told me she wasn’t really surprised that the shooting at  Virginia Tech. happened and that it will most certainly happen again – acceptance.

Two others told me that whenever something like this happens, changes always occur to make us safer, as though a disembodied “they” magically modified policy – naivety.

For me, violence of this magnitude in our schools and colleges is unacceptable. Granted, I am from an older generation – the one that obstinately spoke out on college campuses nationwide to protest a war they were against.

Our own National Guard at Kent State was ordered to control a crowd by any means necessary and killed four young people for their efforts to bring about change – the ultimate sacrifice while speaking out.

In that spirit, please do not assume that because our administrators and legislators are older with more education than you that they are necessarily wiser.

As a 50-year-old about to receive her bachelor’s degree, I can tell you that oftentimes we only think we are wiser.

I can tell you that I have learned as much from each of my younger counterparts when we’ve engaged in meaningful debate and conversation as I have my professors in the classroom.

It’s just a different kind of knowledge.

I challenge each of my fellow students to speak your mind to our administrators and our legislators. They all have e-mail addresses.

You’re the technological generation, so do a little research, find e-mail addresses and speak out. Our safety depends on it.

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