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Don’t just complain, start a protest

Life isn’t fair. It’s true. And there are so many things we can’t control. Sometimes complaining feels like the only option. But what good does it do to complain to one another?
We need to be voicing our concerns to the people who are making the rules that govern our lives and restrict our freedoms. Student activism has been advocated time and time again. With good reason.
VSU students are 12,000 people strong. We represent a huge portion of Valdosta’s economy and community. College students represent an enormous part of the nation’s economy and community.
Yet consider the parking ordinances that were created in City Hall to discourage college students from moving into certain districts. If college students had shown up en masse and demanded reconsideration in light of the economic contributions they make to the city, then perhaps there wouldn’t be so many restrictions on what essentially boils down to residents’ basic rights.
After all, we are patrons of local businesses, a significant portion of the rental market, and a large block of the work force, not to mention we breathe vibrancy and creativity into the community.
Getting involved has been made easier. But going online and becoming a fan of Facebook cause pages or bootlegging a blogger’s opinions may feel like participation. It’s not. The beauty of social media is that it can spark your interest. Unless something is ignited, it’s just a flicker in the dark.
So please, please, please advance to the next level. Research the situation responsibly, reference credible .edu or .gov websites. Just shooting off opinions that aren’t grounded in fact or reality only weaken the causes people claim to support.
For democracy to truly work though, it’s not enough for citizens to equip themselves and each other with information. They must take that information to the people who are in a position to make changes.
I’m not suggesting that all 12,000 students could band together under one banner, one vote, one voice. It’s quite the opposite. Let every voice ring out. Let’s show the city, state, and country politicians that we are aware of our power and prepared to wield it.

This editorial was written by Francesca Zagami (frzagami@valdosta.edu) and it expresses the opinion of the entire editorial staff.

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