One of the chief complaints about The Quad is that there are too many columnists writing about political issues. I wasn’t surprised about this feedback because it reflects the truth about apathy on college campuses. People hear the word “politics” and they think, “I’m outta here,” choosing to avoid important issues io our lives so that they can go play X-box.This is the work of that evil-doer called apathy. Yearly surveys suggest that we as college students care less each year about the environment, women’s issues, racial understanding, community-action programs, or even the simple discussion of political issues.
So what causes this apathy? Well look at those in the public eye, who represent the political institutions. The democrats have dealt with Bill Clinton’s sex scandals and adultery problem, while the repulicans are currently staggering from a sequence of allegations involving Bush lying to the nation during his State of the Union address. In fact, many students blame their apathy on the failures and shortcomings of American office holders. The common phrase is, “I don’t care who wins the election…they’re all scum,” etc. Of course, this is nothing more than a scapegoat for those who choose to be negligent and don’t vote. Needless to say, they are always the first to complain.
Ironically, college campuses used to be a hotbed of political activity, starting back in the 1970s during the Vietnam War era. Nowadays the majority of students don’t seem to give politics a second thought, let alone a chance. As the debates leading up to next year’s presidential election heat up in the American media, most students can barely yawn.
What’s even worse is that the apathy of the other students discourages those out there who really do want to speak out and be heard. Fortunately, there are groups of students on campus who do want to make a difference. No one should be oppressed by apathy.
Enter the opinion columnists in The Quad. Genuinely, these are students like you and me who actually care about the issues. For apathetic people to complain that The Quad is becoming too political is a poor excuse for their own negligence to civic duty. After all, what is the point of free speech if you don’t use it? Columnists, conservative and liberal alike, if anything, do the student body a favor by educating them on such vital issues-civil rights, war in Iraq, terrorism, finance and taxes, the APSCUF-SSHE negotiations, etc. I still care about these issues and I’m proud of it. I’m even prouder of the fact that I write about the issues I feel strongly about.
Heck, this conservative would even take a newspaper full of left-wing politics over a newspaper that says “I don’t care” any day. Why? Because caring about the issues is the American way. Staying home and doing nothing is not. So to all the open minds out there who feel oppressed by apathetic attitudes, I say to you, let your mind be free. Pick up a pen and write. In fact, join The Quad—it’s the best place to start. You too, deserve to be heard.
Anthony Maalouf is a sophomore majoring in political science with a minor in Spanish studies.