College students are given the utmost privilege of being able to check out of real life and, instead, immerse themselves in topics of interest such as theoretical calculus, political philosophy or British literature. While hopefully keeping an eye on the status of the world, students can keep it at arms length and enjoy their status as the future – rather than the current – decision makers. But that doesn’t mean that major crises don’t exist.

Global warming and the genocide currently going on in the Darfur region of Sudan are two of those crises. And, in recent weeks, groups of UR students have worked hard to bring those problems to the forefront of their peers’ minds. The showing of “An Inconvenient Truth” and the lecture on the Darfur genocide at the Interfaith Chapel were both impressive efforts to raise awareness and bring global issues home to UR.

Both included authorities in their respective fields. The film showing panel featured Earth and Environmental Sciences professor Udo Fehn, and the Darfur lecture was led by Eric Reeves, an expert on the Sudan crisis and prolific writer on the subject.

Both of these issues are examples of global problems that students cannot afford to ignore. They will not just stop or die out in time. Instead, it is imperative that students get informed, get involved and make their voices heard. Although genocide and global warming may seem far off, soon today’s students will be the ones paying the consequences of inaction.

Grassroots, which sponsored the showing of “An Inconvenient Truth,” and the 11 groups that collaborated to bring Reeves to UR should be applauded for the work they have done. They provided a great service to the student body. Now, it is only responsible for everyone else to follow their lead.

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