Staff ed: Student activism high

During the recent Trustee weekend, several student groups made presentations on issues pertinent to the College. SEG talked about their efforts to receive nonprofit organization status, and the Social Justice Peer Education Group will train students over spring break to educate Grinnell and the wider community about social justice issues. These presentations were well received, and provided an opportunity for open debate and dialogue for the students and faculty alike.

Though Grinnell has a long history of social activism, we are not consistently as active as we strive to be. However, some student groups are leading a wave of involvement.

These students are doing something that matters to a wide range of people. Rather than continuing to talk about what needs to be changed, they have taken the initiative upon themselves. As students, we should use their examples as a kick in the butt to actually go out and do something.

We as Grinnellians have many resources available for letting out our inner activist. Even in these tough economic times when budget cuts are prevalent, community service budgets are increasing. One result of these increases has been DVA/SAC’s ability to extend their focus to female members of Mitchellville Correctional Facility who are seeking parole.

We are all constantly straining under mounds of homework, but this should be no reason to shirk our social responsibilities. If you are passionate about an issue, follow these students’ examples; stop just talking and do something about it.

Let’s finally give DVA/SAC, SEG, the Social Justice Peer Education Group, and other student groups the recognition that they deserve for holding up Grinnell’s reputation for social activism in ways just about everyone can get behind. And remember, do the right thing.