Last Tuesday in the Lab Café, it was business as usual. Students were studying, eating, and chatting. Then about 20 students marched through the Lab Building, carrying a banner and ripping away confused students from their studies with the chant “education, not deportation.”
At that very second, the room went dead quiet, and all the students fixed their confused gaze onto the march.
“What’s going on? What are they talking about?” the faces of the onlookers asked.
I sat and watched the phenomenon unfold, and perhaps my friend reflected the reaction best a few days later: “what the fuck is this?”
As I am sure many students feel this time of year, they are too damn busy. Even I forgot about the rally for these two students due the terrifying realization of the behemoth of homework I had upon me last week.
If students were less busy, I am sure that more than 20 would have showed up for the march and chant and to show support for their fellow students.
As much as some students desire this campus to have more activism, to be more involved, to be less apathetic, and desire that more students had come to the march, many probably agree with me that marching and chanting with a banner isn’t their thing. Yet there are more things a student can do to be more active, but students have a multitude of reasons to not be more involved. Some don’t know, some don’t care, some disagree, and some are embarrassed.
So what to do? What can students do?
What to do in the face of unjust deportations?
What to do with an embezzlement scandal and a questionable CFS?
What to do under the spectre of an academic review that may disfigure this university and jeopardize your degree. This university faces a multitude of challenges that requires the student body to awake and face vigilantly.
The first step would be for students to be more informed about the going-ons on campus. If only there was some sort of outlet that reports on such things.
Now, armed with knowledge of the events on our campus, the next step would be to get involved, in any way they can, because these deportations and academic changes affect you and your future success. If we allow the administration to change the way this university functions without our consent, then we also let them dictate our future.
Take, for example, the academic review forum, which was held in the Riddell Centre Multipurpose Room on Nov.19. How many showed up? As a student body we could easily make the administration tremble if we packed such a small room with a suddenly interested and demanding student body.
Sadly, this generally does not happen. It seems only the few and the brave will show up to voice their largely unheeded opinions.
Yet, if we showed up in force, we could collectively speak with a common voice that the administration could not afford to ignore. Even if the student body doesn’t have a consensus and disagrees on what’s best for the future of this university, the important thing is that students show the administration that they care.
Never forget, this is your university.
Photo courtesy metronews.ca