Letters to the editor – Student activism needs to evolve

 

Ali Raeisdanaei | Contributor

Featured image courtesy of Pixabay


The struggle between youthful rebellion and mature reasoning among us university students can be seen by the protests that occurred on Wednesday, November 20 against the IDF soldier.

History and society idealizes images of young rebellious types who, through strong (and mostly violent) acts of defiance, challenge the status quo and change their countries for the better. Images of students marching to American Embassies or toppling statues of some tyrant comes to mind when we think of student activism. This is inherently wrong.

In young students who, for the first time, hear their voices in society, they develop an impulse to correct the oppressive ways of the old. Our education, which bores us to death, does not fulfill us intellectually; this produces a loud and boisterous beast of a mob that overtakes all rationale.

Western civilization owes its success to free discourse and debate. In fact, this is the exact notion that universities should aim to do — this is the only value that we as students should learn. If someone honestly believes in a cause, or in the case of the events of last week’s events, against a cause, they should not chant and try to silence others. This will only regress us to the barbaric past we are trying to avoid.

If you believe someone’s message is wrong and/or detrimental, then prove it. Set up a booth, and call people to hear the facts.

There needs to be a shift in the understanding of student activism. Let’s change hoisted fists as logos for organizations (cough, YFS) to pens and microphones. Let’s take up booths rather than banners, as this and nothing else, will drive us forward.

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