Attending a 'radical' college populated by kids who consider themselves radicals leads to many situations I find to be humorous. By 'radicals' I mostly mean well off white kids who seem to feel oppressed by nearly everything.

Our school has a very free and open paper. Almost too free and open. Any student is allowed to make a submission, regardless of quality. These submissions are unedited both in terms of conceptual content and any sort of profanities one could imagine. Overall this is good and leads to interesting things, but also leads to a fair amount of poorly written material. Despite the enormous freedom our paper offers, students have still taken it upon themselves to begin the 'Counter Point Journal' (our normal paper is called the 'Cooper Point Journal'). Why these students do not simply make submissions to the Cooper Point Journal and who they feel they are offering a counter point to, I am unsure. All the graffiti does is preach to the choir and create difficult work for the underpaid janitorial staff who then has to release dangerous toxins into the environment to clean it off.

During the recession, our school, like schools everywhere, experienced minor budget cuts and a minor tuition hike. Considering what many other schools experienced, particularly in California, our school got off pretty easy in those regards. Despite this a large 'walk-out' was organized in protest to these budget cuts.

But funniest of all happened just last week.
On our campus is a small building known as the HCC. It is located near the dorms and soccer field. It contains a small grocery store, about the size of a convenience store, laundry room, and some open hang out area with pool tables and couches.
Students who don't live in the dorms almost never go the Hcc as it is fairly out of the way from the main campus. I often forget it exists and wouldn't be surprised if some students never knew it existed.
Last week, a group of masked students chose to Occupy this building in protest against our administration. This seems to be a throwback to student led occupations of administration buildings in the 60's.
Because the Hcc is such a minor part of campus, I didn't even know it had been occupied until reading about it in the paper(which published several articles for and against the sit in). I can't imagine what effect this sit-in had on the administration as only students use this building. The police never even attempted to interfere with the sit-in. It was basically just a big party/hangout/sleep over that took place in the hcc.
And what was the beef these protesters had with the Evergreen Administration? I have no idea. I'm reading through what the sit-inners have written into the paper in support of their sit-in and while they talk about the way the sit in was conducted, I have found no mention about what they were hoping to achieve by holding this sit-in.

If these 'radicals' were hoping to have fun and hang out, it seems they achieved that. If they were hoping to affect a change in our schools administration, I would be surprised if that happens, since whatever change they are hoping to cause, they have chosen to keep to themselves. If they are simply opposed to having administrators at all, however tolerant and bend over backwards to allow student freedoms they may be, then perhaps attending University isn't the appropriate choice for them.

There are of course many serious injustices which take place everyday, and I'm grateful for activists who engage the oppressors and bring to the world's attention the injustices which occur. However, these Evergreen students seem to be protesting merely for protest sake. They seem to simply like the concept of being a 'radical' who does sit-ins and is angry, rather than having a meaningful cause they are seeking to affect.

1 comment:

Marissa N. Paolacci said...

i was trying to think of an example of this, but rather than radical liberals with radical conservatives. haven't thought of one yet. having a tea party at a tea party?