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Increase political activity

 Last week the Residence Hall Association hosted the student-led forum, Black v. Ghetto. The forum was open to students to discuss the stereotypes that are displayed in the media, hip hop culture, appearances and education. Over 80 students attended and while things became heated, everyone—including the student panelists—learned that we create our own prejudices, whether we realize it or not.   

 Student- led discussions and forums have been VSU’s most talked about events within the last month. Students are able to voice their opinions about social, economic, political, and environmental issues, while listening to fellow students’ opinions.

We salute students who have taken the effort to become more informed, from students breaking down black stereotypes to fraternities pledging to go green. These events and projects were student-based.

  The past two student-led discussions have dealt with social views of race and African Americans (inspired from Black History Month). Within each discussion, students have been able to learn from one another, all while having their beliefs challenged and formed into more solid views.    

 Student activism or youth activism, traces back to the educational system from the 1930s with former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The first lady supported the American Youth Congress, an organization composed of students from all across the country, aimed at discussing the problems facing youth.

  Throughout each decade, college students have traditionally played a key role in youth activism. It is glorified in everything from films, such as “Higher Learning,” to songs like “Everybody Wake Up” by John Legend.

 The stereotypical view of a college student has changed from an intelligent, insightful person into a lazy party animal. While college is an experience for the youth to grow and come into their own, we should remember that our beliefs will be tested and we shouldn’t be afraid of it.

  Youth activism is still something that should be pushed—not from teachers and administration—but from us. Students who are interested in the crisis in Libya or the HOPE budget cuts here at VSU have the power with social networks and the Internet to suggest news links, videos and photos to fellow students.

 There is lots of information and knowledge available to us; we just have to take advantage of it. If we leave college and do not have any of our social, environmental, or political beliefs challenged, we have failed to grasp the full opportunity that is placed in front of us.

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