Catalyzing Change

Nobody cares.

If you’re like me, it seems that Western has many issues and concerns, but that’s all that is ever voiced—opinion. So why doesn’t anyone come through with resolution? Is it because we simply don’t know how, or is it that we are so quick to accept what consequences arise and simply deal?

The real issue is: why aren’t students more involved with solving the problems they so easily rant about?

Some perceptions on participation vary, and while some students quickly respond with “I’m too busy and am enrolled full time”, or are “afraid of what others think”, don’t seem like valid excuses in not making effort to create change. Do we have a duty to our community and campus to solve these issues that press our concerns? Maybe a duty for our own well-being?

Typically at a college, you see many forms of activism. While ranging from environmental, social, to health and nutrition, politics can bridge the gap between mindless opinion and concrete action.

Initially revolving around word of mouth, the 2008 Presidential Election spawned an organized grassroots movement here on campus. With printed informative material available and most news stations keeping tabs with the election, Dawn Kurry, junior and anthropology major, decided to collaborate with friends and online social networking groups (like Facebook) to get others’ interested in the campaign.

Campaigning on campus involved tables placed in the UC lawn and communicating to passers-by about the aim of the political candidates. Finding like-minded individuals to help you accomplish what you are passionate about is certainly the gateway for being a part of something larger.

Though Kurry’s end result was signing up over 600 people to vote and provide them with material to help make an educated and conscious political statement, she accomplished all this while enrolled with a heavy course load. “I don’t see why there isn’t more [activism].To be active and promote what I believe in, I found time and had plenty of it. When others complain, there must be concern, otherwise, why complain?”

A university is more than a place where you get your diploma.

As a society, we can only grow closer to each other out of necessity. Unfortunately, that’s what it takes and getting involved is much easier than you realize. Whether it’s recycling on campus or widening the biker’s lane, simply supporting something you believe in can generate a response. Essentially, that’s what activism is—creating the will to change.