By Megan Perry
A disappointing display of student activism, resulting from a poor showing at the Occupy ELAC protest, raises the question of students’ priorities. Occupy ELAC is a movement of students who are tired of the fee hikes and who feel they deserve a free higher education.
So, one would think that students would show up to support one another and demonstrate to the government that they are tired of having to pay more and more for an education. But that is not quite what happened on Monday. There was minimal attendance at the demonstration. It seemed as if the only ones who showed up were the few that organized it, and some people who wanted to hold a sign on their way from home to school or in between classes.
For the people who did attend, the passion and intensity was felt. Other than that, it was not nearly as loud as it should have been. All students should have been down on those steps, rallying and voicing their opinion on what they feel should be done.
There is a problem, and this is something we can all agree on. The problem is that California, more specifically Gov. Jerry Brown, is trying to raise fees on education. That is something that affects all ELAC students. Yet, students at ELAC disregarded the importance and the significance behind the message that was supposed to be demonstrated.
Students seemed to more focused on Halloween costumes and parties rather than the higher issues of tuition, education and a future. Halloween is only here for a day, but this issue could effect students for the rest of their lives.
How could the issue of a free higher education not be on the minds of students? There is a $400 million, potential loss of funding for full-time equivalent students. This would affect about 80,000 students in California. It is sad to see students not care about something that will directly affect them, and this budget cut will do just that. It will affect everyone.
A two-year institution will soon become four to complete. Not only were students not present, but faculty and administrators were absent as well.
The point of the event is to get acknowledgment from Brown. If nobody on campus cares about the cost of education, then why should he? If students are not willing to stand up and fight for themselves, they will be forgotten and pushed to the side.
Students seem to lack the motivation to want to make a difference, yet they are the faces of the future. The lack of faces at the demonstration shows that students just seem to not care. The future looks grim with these people running the world.
Students need to be more passionate about the issues. It’s like everyone just got lazy and doesn’t care whatsoever about their future. They are clueless to what is happening around them. Students need to open their eyes and make a choice. The problem is not going to solve itself, so be the voice that makes a difference.
It’s not too late. Occupy ELAC will take place until Brown acknowledges what students are saying, so pitch a tent and stand up for what students should believe in. Stand up for an education.