Recently anonymous fliers have been posted around the St. Michael’s College campus protesting the perceived apathy of students. They boast a collage of images, including Hitler’s face, Iraq war photos, and a definition for the word “apathy” (as well as a phonetic spelling, just in case the apathetic students are illiterate as well.)
The handouts have shown up on doors, on windows, in student mailboxes, and inescapably, the floor of the mailroom.
It seems almost ironic: the need to oppose something that essentially isn’t there. How does someone fight against lack of opinion? Who is the enemy? Is knowledge the opposing viewpoint? Are these posters really making students care more about prevalent political issues, or is it just a waste of paper?
And of course, the bigger question would be, is there really an overwhelming number of apathetic students on campus? Last week, more than 100 students gathered in protest of the War in Iraq . The Green Up Club has been working incredibly hard to sponsor events during each day of Earth week, and over spring break there were half a dozen service trips sponsored by the M.O.V.E. office. The Peace and Justice club attends a peace vigil at the top of Church Street every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., rain or shine.
It’s true that there is always going to be a cause that needs support or a protest that needs participants. However, people need to choose their passions for themselves— values cannot be forced upon someone.
Not to mention that the fliers don’t offer a specific argument to fight for. How are students supposed to react? Perhaps a more beneficial way to approach the situation would have been to hand out fliers informing students about an event or a cause for which to develop an educated opinion.
Helping students become more knowledgeable instead of insulting them without offering a solution would have been a more appropriate approach.
It’s impossible to actively care about every political, social, economic, ecological, (and the list goes on) issue occurring around the world and trying to care about everything is almost as dangerous as apathy itself.
Fighting for something without truly knowing or believing in what you are fighting for is an insult to everyone involved.
The people or person that distributed the fliers has a point: people should be passionate, and they should support his or her beliefs; However, telling people to care because they are apathetic is too general to be effective.
In order to make people care you have to give them something to care about.