College campuses have served as strongholds of political and social thought for centuries, home to voices that advocate for the rights of humanity and rally against injustice. On the River Campus, these voices are in short supply.

The College, if anything, has so few activists willing to rise up “against the man,” as our hippie college predecessors may have stated.

One such issue is the military industrial complex, over which activists such as the Students for Social Justice and Amnesty International have raised awareness through several events, including a sit-in, pamphlet information, and contributions to this very paper.

The most recent incident involving campus activists occured when student activists marched into a conference of major employers, carrying a replica missile, and breaking into the May Room’s sound system to broadcast their message. Activists do indeed have the right to march. No, they do not have the right to usurp the May Room’s equipment – but undoubtedly they would not have violated the law were they not aware of the consequences.

What is disturbing though is their disregard for other students. By interrupting this conference, these students embarrassed prospective employees of these companies. Many corporations that are major players in optics and engineering technology may not return – a major blow for a research-based university. These extreme actions only hinder their fellow students’ research and job prospects and do not help promote any message.

The intent was to advocate discussion. But the right to “promote discussion” extends only so far that it does not infringe upon the well-being of other students. In this demonstration, these students severely crossed the line, potentially dashing career prospects for their peers. To advocate social justice, but then violate the rights of other students, sends a mixed message that will only hinder the voice of activism.



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