This Monday, people across the nation and across the River Campus paid homage to the civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and to the ideals and principles for which he stood. Throughout the civil rights movement, King championed the cause of equality for African-Americans with an undeniable spirit of civic activism. The beginning of a new semester offers us many opportunities, not only to follow through on New Years’ resolutions to lose weight or to do better in school, but also to join the many activist groups available on campus. Whether it is poverty or racism or any other issue today which incenses you, now is the time to channel your beliefs into something productive. Many groups are just beginning to recruit for the new academic term. Activism is not only the most rewarding expression of social and political beliefs, but the most effective means of actualizing those beliefs. Indeed, many issues in which campus groups are involved may have the potential to affect your lives in a direct way. It is now up to us to act. While we honor the struggle King and his fellow African-Americans went through to achieve their rights and the non-violent means King espoused to that end, we should likewise use this opportunity at the beginning of a new semester for both introspection and a better look at our surroundings. As a college community, and more broadly as a nation, we are faced with many of our own contemporary issues which have the potential to challenge our moral convictions. Even if our political views may differ, we as students can unite behind the common belief in reaching out to others based on the notion of moral principle and activism which strongly reflects the teachings of King. This spirit may have been best expressed when he said, “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

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