By Duke Staff
A lot has happened these past couple of weeks, between actual, literal Nazis marching in Charlottesville and another terror attack in Barcelona. And while we at The Duke would like to welcome the incoming freshman class with frivolity and excitement, the fact of the matter is that it no longer feels appropriate.
As such, we would like to extend a plea to every other student at Duquesne: Please pay attention. Tragic and often horrifying events have been happening at breakneck pace. While they may seem to be intangible events, occurring far away, each will have some affect on you or the people that you know.
The white supremacists marching on Charlottesville were doing more than protesting the removal of a statue. They effectively showcased how terrorism can be — and has been — American-grown. The Aug. 17 attack in Barcelona was another example in the long list of all-too-frequent incidents of disenfranchised, young Muslim men being enticed into violent action.
As members of academia, students need to be engaged constantly with what is happening in the world. It’s critical to follow along as the world moves rapidly ahead, and doing so is simple. Obtaining and financially supporting news from credible sources (NOT from just social media or, God-forbid, YouTube), attending peaceful rallies or teaching yourself one new thing everyday are just a few baby steps to becoming more engaged.
If you care about honest, thorough journalism, subscribe to local and national papers like The New York Times, The Pittsburgh Tribune Review or the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. If you care about social issues, like climate change or equal rights, start following non-profits and supporting them through your time or donations. If you don’t know exactly what the debt ceiling is, or the role of NAFTA or the history of Confederate statues, use the myriad resources available at Gumberg to fill in the blanks.
Because now more than ever, we need to prove these things matter. It matters to be well-informed, it matters to be empathetic and it matters to affirm the fact that vigorous academic study and application provides the best bedrock for meaningful, good change.
In the words of Robert Kennedy: “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”