Wed. Dec 12th, 2018

Advocacy is on the rise

Students protest hate speech on campus

Student held picket signs depicting marginalized groups

By Maggie Vancampen —

There always seems to be a protest on campus nowadays. From protesting legislation to raising awareness to various issues, its almost like there is a new one every month.

Last year there were nine protests fitting those criteria, and this year we are already at four.

We had the protest to CIA Director Gina Haspel‘s appearance on campus Sept. 24, Cynthia Wood’s sexual assault prevention training protest on Oct. 17, the trans visibility rally on Oct. 30 and a rally supporting the caravan from Honduras Nov. 7.

What does this mean though?

Political sciences professor Dewey Clayton said there has been an increase in advocacy movements across college campuses lately.

“I think it is a positive influence up to a certain point,” Clayton said.

The academy should be open to all ideas from all groups; academic freedom is the essence of free speech.

With that thought in mind, he said that everyone is welcome to speak, political affiliations aside.

“White supremacists and other members of the alt-right are heavily attempting to recruit college students.  They are going to college campuses, distributing literature, and giving speeches,” he said.

“I think the current political climate has caused people to be more politically active and organizations on the left and right see college campuses as a great opportunity to recruit young people.”

With all of these influences converging on college campuses nationwide, Clayton said he hopes both recent and seasoned students will keep an open mind.

“College should be a place where students experience new ideas and are exposed to different viewpoints and ways of seeing the world. It is a time for them to broaden their horizons and open their minds,” he said.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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