BY KACIE GROSSMEIER
This time of year, the last thing on my mind is what event I can go to next. I have papers, exams and a motivation level that pretty much bottomed out at the beginning of April. Sure, the fair amount of procrastination offered by attending an event is alluring, but I know I’m supposed to study. Yet some things are more important than, say, American literature readings. I think my peers agree.
On April 30, Oxfam America at SNC put on the Tunnel of Oppression. I actually had the opportunity to present in it as well as walk it, so I got to see the event from both ends. To my surprise, a generous number of students walked the tunnel, many with backpacks on (those diligent students).
But the attendance level wasn’t the most shocking detail of the night. What inspired me most was the interest students were taking in the event itself. Sure, many of them had to be there to fulfill class, HR and Education hours, but as they walked the tunnel, their eyes, ears and hearts were open to the information they received.
At first, I was skeptical of the students attending solely because they had to. But then it became apparent that it didn’t matter how or why they came—they were all, for the majority, interested in what the event had to say.
The important part was that they were there. Like it or not, all who walked the tunnel heard about global and national injustices and what their peers were doing about it. The information was conveyed, and it was easy to see that many of the students actually took it to heart. Requirement or not, the students who walked noticeably cared.
The tunnel was amazing. The knowledge and dedication to making change displayed by so many SNC students was inspiring, to say the least. And there were many students who walked the tunnel just because they wanted to.
On the other hand, there were students who refused to receive any information. There were a few on their phones (five minutes is a long time for some) and others who were blank-faced the whole way through. But these distracted students were far and few in between.
For the majority who passed through the tunnel—and there were many!—it didn’t matter that they walked because they had to. The important part is that they came and were receptive, making the most of their requirements. The truth is, SNC students do care about these issues, and if some just need a little extra push to get out there and take action, then so be it.
After all, don’t we all need a little push now and then?