Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Encourage others to be a part of change

Change is in the air. It’s an indescribable sensation. The core of our cultural institutions is being challenged.

The United States is undergoing a change. Today marks one month since Occupy Wall Street started. We have heard from a slew of presidential hopefuls on a solution to our economic crisis, and our current president has tried out differing game plans of his own. There are movements for equal rights, better public education and the list goes on. And we aren’t alone, there are revolutions going on around the world.

On a smaller scale, The University of Alabama is also evolving. These past months we have seen an increase in student population, student-administration relations tested, traditions like block seating and the power of the greek system questioned, and most recently, the first resignation of an SGA president since 1950.

Yet in my Spanish class, when Moammar Gadhafi’s picture came on the screen, the room was silent. The classroom did not know who he was or why he was famous. But when Justin Bieber’s face popped up, not only did they know who he was, but they also knew he was from Canada, how old he was and his girlfriend’s name.

This isn’t unheard of – we know that celebrities and entertainment gets more clout and attention from adolescents and young adults than political leaders and movements do. But this should no longer be an excuse.

Not only are we amidst one of the most exciting and fascinating times in our world, nation and school’s history, more importantly, we are college students.

The reason we pursued a higher education is so we can understand the world around us, how things work the way they do, and why things have happened in the past and what is happening now.

And if our University is the academic prowess it claims it is, we sure as hell should be paying attention to what’s around us, and that doesn’t mean Kim Kardashian’s wedding.

But instead of preaching to the choir, I am going to challenge you. Obviously you have already shown interest in the shifting world around you – you have a newspaper in your hands. Now what I’m asking is that you pass on the knowledge and interest you have and have shown by picking up this newspaper, and initiate dialogue with the people around you. Ask them what they think about the economic crisis of this country. Ask them what they think about the presidential hopefuls. Ask them what they think about relief efforts in Tuscaloosa.

Ask what they think about block seating, about our new SGA president, about racism on our campus or about our morphing relationship with our administration. You could start anywhere and with anything, just get them thinking.

We are on the cusp of great things, and we are in the perfect position to have a voice and make a difference in how these great things play out. Being students in an institution like the University of Alabama gives us the education we need to understand what’s going on around us, and provides us with the skills to effectively communicate our desires and goals.

I’m not asking you or your friends to pick up your sign and start picketing, I’m only asking the bar of awareness and education to be raised. Our country was created on ideals that allow us to question. People have died for that right, and if we let it go to waste, we are only hurting our country and ourselves. So encourage questioning the things you hear and the movements around you. Encourage opening your eyes, looking up from your Twitter feed of reality TV-created celebrities and turning your head around.

If we want to turn the page and start new chapters both on this campus and outside of it, we all need to be reading.

So to you, newspaper reader, thank you. Pass on your interest to the person next to you, and maybe they can look up from their Facebook photos just long enough to realize there is some serious change going on, and we have an opportunity to become a part of it.


SoRelle Wyckoff is a junior majoring in history and English. Her column runs weekly on Mondays.

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