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Call to action: students shatter the silence

by The Stylus
Tue, Nov 5th 2019 09:00 pm
Photo Credit: Collin Krassowski/ Editorial Cartoonist

UNITED FRONT Students nationwide work to bring awareness to issues that impact their everyday lives.
Photo Credit: Collin Krassowski/ Editorial Cartoonist UNITED FRONT Students nationwide work to bring awareness to issues that impact their everyday lives.

In recent years there has been an evident uptick in the amount of activism that has taken the spotlight nationwide. Perhaps even more significant is the amount of young people not only participating, but leading the charge as they attempt to change the world. 

The adolescents and young adults of America are fed up waiting for the change the government has been promising, and is taking the issue into their own hands. It is no secret the American gun problem is a bipartisan concern despite the vastly different solutions that are gumming up the process for implementing change. As there has been a lot of talk and very little action, the survivors of the 2018 Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School organized one of the largest examples of student activism to date. 

The young American activists are complemented by their European counterparts who are taking a stand on more global issues. Greta Thunberg, 16, is combating climate change and this year organized the 2019 international Climate March. After her impassioned address to the United Nations, Thunberg is calling on all citizens of this world, no matter their age, to take a stand and fight to be more environmentally conscience. Unbeknownst to Thunberg, she was joined by more young activists from SUNY Oswego on Friday, Sept. 20, according to Oswego County News Now. 

Students across the SUNY system are doing their part in a variety of ways. At SUNY Cortland, students are taking part in the newest internet trend where a cappella groups are covering Lady Gaga’s “Til it Happens to You.” They have joined the movement which works to bring awareness to both the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses nationwide in addition to its survivors, according to HuffPost. 

At SUNY Plattsburgh students protested the distribution and perpetuation of a racist Snapchat in early 2018. Included in the controversial message was the phrase, “Lynching N------ Tonight” which sparked almost immediate outrage from the student body, according to Press-Republican. Around 300 people rallied at the Clinton County Government Center where the “resignations of SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling, Wiley, Provost Michael Morgan and Director of Student Conduct Larry Allen for failure to adequately respond to issues of racism and other concerning incidents,” were called for. 

Here, at The College at Brockport, there is no shortage of student activists who have been inspired to stand up and make a difference on issues including sexual assault and diversity. One such event is the Solidarity walk hosted by Men of Color (MOC) as well as Organization for Students of African Descent (OSAD). For this iteration of the annual event participants were asked to wear all black in order to represent students of color and minority students and their otherwise lack of representation on what is attempting to be a more diverse campus. The demonstration raised awareness of both the lack of diversity of those attending Brockport as well as the strong community they have within each other. 

Throughout the year different clubs like OSAD, MOC, Women of Color Empowerment (WOCE), Association of Latinx American Students (ALAS) and Caribbean Student Association (CSA) attempt to raise awareness and educate the Brockport community on their cultures and backgrounds in order to promote diversity. The college has the same goals in mind and hosts its annual Diversity Conference every year which attracts audiences from local highschools and not just the greater Brockport community. 

Take Back the Night is another annual event and is hosted by the Gender Equity Movement club(GEM) along with other contributions. This event is a section of a larger, national movement working to bring awareness to the victims of sexual and domestic abuse. The nighttime walk features heart-wrenching testimonials as well as a call to action in order to help prevent anymore people from this suffering. After the intimate and profound anecdotes, the activists take to the streets of Brockport, New York physically spreading their message throughout the otherwise sleepy village. 

Due to the ever changing climate, environmental or otherwise, it is integral that these young adults have decided to take action and vocalize their opinions on subjects that are much bigger than a single student in a SUNY school in one state of the United States. Issues like sexual assault and diversity are global problems that need to be addressed. However, calls for a change at the local level will hopefully work to inspire swifter governmental changes and student activists and protestors are playing an important role in this movement. 

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
Staff Photographer

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