The Unity Walk on October 12 might have been the biggest non-athletic event I have seen in my 3.5 years at Wabash. While it was successful and raised awareness for a good cause, I realized that I haven’t done anything since. I am disappointed in myself for doing less about the fight for minority rights, and I am sure many of you might feel the same way. Realistically, how much have you done for the cause since that walk? I would venture to say a large portion of the campus is in the same boat I am, and that needs to change. If you think the mission is complete, I encourage you to read Malik’s opinion article from Bell Week, encouraging the student body to keep working. While I want to help, I often wonder what a white, middle-class college student like myself can do about minority rights. So, I came up with a few ways to get more involved, and I am here to share them with you.
The first way is to create your own events, such as unity walks and guest speakers. This might sound difficult to do, but at Wabash, it really isn’t. The easiest way is to join a club then request money from Student Senate, which has an extra $45,000 in its budget right now. Minority-focused organizations are always looking for new members, so, with a few exceptions, a quick email to the leader of a club will usually end with you officially joining. The Asian Culture Club, the International Students Organization, La Alianza, and ‘shOUT are always open to more members. The MXI will accept a new associate class early next semester. So, once you are in a club, go to the leader and propose an event; they will probably give you suggestions to improve it and offer their help in running it. This may seem intimidating, but club leaders are always looking for new ideas and people to execute them. The next step is to request funding from the Student Senate, which the treasurer of your club can help you with. In the end, one of the best ways you can get involved is to join a club and organize an all-campus event.
Running your own event is probably the most effective way to raise awareness, but I get it; we are all busy. So, if you don’t have time to join a club and plan an event, you can participate in someone else’s. To do this, you need to check your email. As Wabash students, we get roughly 50 emails per day, so it is easier said than done. But don’t worry, you only need to look for emails from certain people. For instance, if you see an email from Leo Warbington or Dean (Steven) Jones,read it before you delete it, as it might be promoting an MXI event. Emails from Dane (Michael) Smith are also good to look out for because he sends the emails for events hosted by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee on campus. All the other clubs I mentioned earlier also organize public events and send out emails with information. Everyone should find time for these events; in fact, many of these events can be a fun way to take a break, hang out with friends, and meet new people while promoting a good cause. Going to other people’s events is an excellent way to support the movement while not planning your own. Personally, my goal is to attend 8 public events run by one or more of these organizations next semester, and I encourage you all to do the same.
Our campus is still far from perfect, and there is a lot of work for the student body to do. Thankfully, there are several easy ways individual students can make change on campus. So, if you have been wondering how to get involved and make changes, join a club and plan your own events. And if you don’t have time to join one of the organizations, start checking your emails more often and show up to events other people are running. It is time to get back out there and get involved after the success of the Unity Walk on October 12.