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Opinion

Uninvolvement relates to uninformed students

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April 17, 2008

Over a week ago, River Falls had its largest anti-war rally since Vietnam. There were approximately 100 people participating in the march, the rally or both. From the River Falls Public Library to the University Center mall, students and community members brought awareness to the town’s center with signs, chants and even their mere presence.

  The Rally in the River Valley was sponsored by the Socialist Alternative, College Democrats and River Falls Peace and Justice organizations. The community march, presented by the River Falls Anti-War Coalition, was held before the main event at the University Center.

  Unfortunately, I had class when the march took place, so I joined in on the rallying at the main event to listen to speakers and music. I was surprised to see that of the 100-some people attending, the majority were community members. Since this event was sponsored by two University organizations and was mostly held at the University, I would naturally predict a larger percentage of students.

  Was a lack of advertising to students the reason for the small number of students in attendance? Doubtful. Large posters have been plastered around town and on campus except, of course, in the University Center itself, which does not allow posters on its pretty painted walls.

  Was it a lack of interested, informed minds that caused the skewed student-to-community member ratio? This is a definite possibility, as it is rare to find actively involved students at this University who are concerned about their country and its affiliation with other nations in the world.

  To be honest, I have always been opinionated, but never active about my opinions and ideas on a mass public level. As of late, I have noticed news articles and truly moving photos of active citizens around the world that have come out for a cause they believe to be vital. I even participated in a demonstration while in Belgium last fall.

  Upon realizing how moved I was by such demonstrations, protests, rallies and sometimes riots, I consequently realized how important it was to do my part in expressing my beliefs at such a crucial time for our country and Iraq.

  As individuals living in the United States, we have the right are privilege to voice our feelings about how our tax dollars are spent. Students pay taxes too, and some of their 20-something-year-old friends have probably been to Afghanistan or Iraq.

  More student involvement would influence other young people’s minds through demonstration. Others would then become educated and informed about world and local issues that affect us more directly. Shouldn’t you be more concerned about your education than providing various weapons to destroy people around the world? Your country won’t be so great if the next generation in control lacks educated.

  Teresa is a journalism major and a geography minor in her senior year. She enjoys kangaroo burgers and creating pretty maps.

Teresa Aviles is a student at UW-River Falls.