In the 1960s and 70s, there were protests on college campuses across America. According to history professor David Bennett, Syracuse University held the biggest student protest in the country. Today we face a costly war alongside a time of economic distress, and none of us seem to be very upset. At least, we don’t seem to be showing it.
If you ask a student on campus what they’re biggest concerns are, many of them are going to mention the possibility of not having a job after graduation. Now that the Occupy Wall Street movement is gaining much more media attention and support, we are finally seeing some public outcry. However, many of the protesters are not college students. Today in my International Relations lecture, our professor asked how many of us had ever participated in a protest. Only about five of us raised our hands.
Why is it that our generation seems so much more complacent with the way things are? Is it because we feel that we have little power? Is it because we can’t agree on anything and are so focused on party politics? Some would put the blame on social media; they think that we find enough satisfaction in “liking” a Facebook post about Occupy Wall Street instead of actually participating in it. I disagree with this notion that social media is hindering our progress as a generation, because I think it’s a great tool for getting people organized. We just need to use it more effectively.
I know that personally I have not done, and you probably haven’t either. I just don’t understand why this is the case. I know there are many people in our generation who step up to the plate, but I feel that the overwhelming majority would rather sit back and watch.
By Allison Joyce Villa