There is a near everpresent blanket of apathy that covers UR. It is hard enough to motivate people to leave their dorms, let alone do something positive. This goes deeper than apathy.
Looking back only ten years in the CT archives, I see that there were stabbings, shootings and other actual dangers to living here on this campus. Now, students can rest at night, without fearing that there will be danger in walking to the commons. While this is certainly a change for the better, it has allowed us to close our eyes to the problems around us.
We complain about the low quality of food here on campus, when there are people nearby who would be thankful to eat at any of the dining centers.
It’s hard not to become infected with this cynicism. At some point, I started thinking, “Why should I care?”
Caring about something, let alone everything I should care about, takes effort. Caring requires me to constantly live up to my ideals. Caring would require a network of people to help me care.
It is hard to go it alone in anything. And changes ? real changes in the way things are ? cannot be effected by a single person, no matter how much he or she cares or hard he or she tries.
It’s much too big of a job for one person to do alone, especially when we are given so many ways not to care. So many of these problems exist outside the realm of our senses. We aren’t exposed to them on a daily basis, and it becomes difficult to see them as real problems.
If you were in the same room as a starving person, and you had food to give, you would share it. Somehow, though, that doesn’t translate to people in far away countries. An environment like ours is sheltered and that helps us stop caring.
In order to help people start caring again, we need to give each other our support. We need to form some sort of organization, informal or formal, that gives us a reason to keep caring.
An organization of idealists, people who care about making changes, could do so much more than if each of those people were to work alone. These people would be able to feed off of each other, support each other and give each other the strength to keep caring.
Resisting apathy is hard work. There is no reason why anyone should have to do it alone. This network needs to be formed, and I am not going to sit around any longer and just wait for change to happen.
This group can expand beyond just our campus, and, in fact, needs to. Anyone interested, from the community, the faculty, the student body, should not hesitate to contact me.
If you put this article down, and think that you will remember to do something about it later, stop yourself, remember how many times you have told yourself that before, and do something immediately.
Powell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.