To the Editor:
As a student with less than 100 days left at Wittenberg, I think I have enough experience to comment on our campus culture. I came here excited and hopeful, mesmerized by such an active college campus. Since then, I’ve been riding this rollercoaster that includes disappointing lows.
I feel that a significant proportion of “activists” on campus function strictly under performative methods. Wittenberg’s issues with finances and community members of color came to life long before The Steemer was even a thought. Instead of trying to insert themselves into Board conversations before things got out of hand, students decided to climb onto any raised surface in Geil Lounge with Witt-y posters, yelling about firing professors. Of these participants, how many will follow through and attend any forums on the issue? How many will “care” when they leave campus at the end of the semester?
Wittenberg’s culture perpetuates the thought that one big protest or statement will create change. While these types of actions may draw attention to issues, they only bring temporary solutions from the administration, solely created to “throw a bone” to those ruining the university’s clean image. Students need to involve themselves in and support activities that serve as foundations for the affected groups. When the 50 anniversary of the CBS walkout came around, The Torch “honored” the event with a measly two pictures. When the Chapel’s pride flag was stolen twice, students “responded” with saying that the flag is what makes LGBTQ+ students feel welcome on campus – not the actual way these students are treated.
It is not enough to speak out in sporadic bursts. It is not enough to only care when it makes you look like the people’s protestor with your friend’s iPhone camera perfectly poised for that Instagram-worthy in-action shot of you shouting your carefully constructed catchphrases just to go home and feel like you’ve done enough for the future of our campus. We, as students, need to really get involved with our campus. Let’s go to any of the open Board meetings. Let’s go to campus events that support diversity. Let’s all be truly well-rounded students so that future Tigers don’t need to see your brief presence in bad times because they’ve already seen your continued presence through the good ones.
Kayla Cull, Class of 2020