April 25, 2013
Is the Millennial Generation unusually apathetic to social issues? Many would say “yes,” and sometimes, as editors, we feel unfortunately inclined to agree. Week after week at The Spectator, we receive a limited number of letters to the editor and notice an alarmingly low level of student interest in writing Opinion articles in response to events and phenomena that occur both on and off the Hill. As we continuously struggle to garner content from the student body, we cannot help but wonder to what extent people actually care about important topics that should be discussed and addressed.
In the past few weeks, activism has thrived on the Hill—with enough student-organized events to make anyone feel assured that the Millennial Generation is anything but disinterested. Last week, the Rainbow Alliance facilitated campus-wide discussions regarding the sexuality spectrum. Rainbow’s Q Week effectively demonstrated the discomfort that many of our LGBTQ classmates face on a daily basis. At Tuesday’s Women Speak Out event, 21 Hamilton women courageously shared their stories about discrimination, sexuality, sexual assault and body issues.
The Spectator applauds the organizers of both events for stepping up to the plate and encouraging campus-wide discussions on important issues, such as sexuality and gender equality. Perhaps what is most encouraging is the level of support and enthusiasm both events generated. They showed not only that Hamilton can meaningfully and thoughtfully respond to social issues, but that the campus community can respectfully respond to sensitive and personal material.
Another topic that is often left to be discussed behind closed doors is sexual assault, which was recognized this week with SAVES. Even when we have various open mic nights on campus, they are often under-attended and fail to reach a majority of the campus. The chain for Sexual Assault Awareness Week represented a noteworthy percentage of the student body taking a stand together and providing a visual and vocal example for the rest of the College. In addition to the t-shirts that were hung up in Kirner-Johnson, the wristbands have provided another visual symbol that has outlasted the week, and continues to impact the campus.
We hope that students continue to make the effort to respond to current events and social issues, with a spirit of activism and in the hope of change. Even though our community is small, we believe we can still make a big difference, even if it’s only to each other. By creating a dialogue about topics that affect Hamiltonians, such as sexual assault and LGBTQ discrimination, we can continually and rightfully foster acceptance and improvement.