Opinions about the war aside, it was refreshing to hear about students on our campus exercising their rights of protest and free speech, and making a serious effort to do so. Too often, the voices of our generation are not heard because we do not put any effort into making them audible. The allegation of apathy on campus is not something we normally deny, but recently some students from UR made an effort that proves that people here do care. These students sacrificed to make an eight-hour trek to New York City last weekend to participate in an anti-war protest.

The simple fact is that things will not change unless you stand up and make your views known. The fact that we live in a democracy gives us the ability and the responsibility to have a say in the decisions our government makes. We must not simply let events unfold around us.Being college students, we ought to put ourselves in a position to make a difference, and we shouldn’t pass up these opportunities. At this point in time, we can appreciate the fact that we have freedom of speech and the freedom to protest, but if we don’t do anything about those rights, they carry no weight.

A topic that is important to you — whether it is war, recycling, vegetarianism, free-market economy — is something that you need to speak up about. Anything that can affect the world is something that should be discussed publicly and peacefully in an open dialogue.

The students who traveled to New York City to protest found a peaceful forum for their voices. If you disagree with them, you should find your own forum to convert people to your side of the debate.

Any public debate is improved by having more voices participate and more points discussed. Express yourself through a number of different venues — poster campaigns, protests, newspaper articles and internet sites. Whatever you do, you should make that impact, because otherwise, your apathy will only support your opposition.

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