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Opinion

Opinions remain unspoken on UWRF campus

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October 9, 2008

6:45 appears upon my clock in bright neon-green numbers. I struggle, tossing and turning, to make it out of bed and up the stairs. By 7:08 I’m pulling out of the driveway and starting my 30 minute trek towards school.

As the sun begins to rise, I nearly reach River Falls. I find a parking spot along the street. A task deemed nearly impossible by the public safety staff member, who spoke to me as a freshman. My useless $90 permit for the, “five-miles-away,” Ramer Field parking lot is left hanging on my mirror. I begin to make my way towards my morning classes.

Walking past the UC, I find students leaning up against the building, enjoying their cancer sticks. I stroll down the sidewalk and spot a staggering, hung-over individual climbing into a pick-up. To my right is pile of hay covering the trampled-over grass. Overall, I see a campus with very little direction or leadership.

And the truth is… we have become lethargic and silent about it.

From the very first day I set foot on this campus, I’ve been critical. I am paying $3,357 a semester; I have every right to be. Everyday I walk around campus, as I’m sure you do, and notice things that make me well, quite honestly, despise being here. Everyone has a complaint, but very few are brave or care enough to do anything about it.

Last week, I read Zach Hauser’s column on students failing to care about what matters. I believe he is absolutely right. A majority of people seem to have some sort of opinion on something. However, not many have been doing or saying anything about it.

Including me.

A very special person called me up last week when I was in one of my “whining” moods. We started talking about UW-River Falls and why I don’t enjoy going there. I went on this rant about how unwelcome I felt and how no one seemed to smile on campus anymore. I went on for maybe half an hour explaining how disrespectful people were and what I felt needed to change.

Knowing I worked for the Student Voice, she told me something that actually made me laugh at the time.

“Change the world with words.”

It sounds completely ridiculous and quite comical. It was a joke to think that through simple sentences, things could change. But, after thinking about it throughout the day, I couldn’t help but feel that she was right.

As much as I would like to believe that this column is going to change the mindsets of people on this campus, let alone the world, I don’t. Yet, I choose to speak my mind, even if it’s difficult to convey the truth.

I don’t expect to start a Revolution. I don’t expect to step onto campus tomorrow and find a picket line. However, maybe my words will affect one person, similar to how Zach’s affected me. And maybe that person will choose to speak and therefore, affect someone else.

You don’t have to be a journalist or English major to speak your mind. As much as we would love to read it, you don’t even have to write for the Student Voice. Pick up a pen, grab a napkin, a piece of paper you find on the floor, the back of your hand, whatever. Write! Speak!

You are not helpless in creating change. It doesn’t matter whether you’re that shy girl in the back of class, that guy playing video games in the dorms, or one of those amazing cafeteria employees.

If you have an opinion, you have every right to voice it.

We can change the world with our words.

Cristy Brusoe is a student at UW-River Falls.