First and foremost, being a campus activist is all about having intense passion about an issue. Whether it’s the environment, gun control, educational reform, or reproductive rights, there are so many reasons and ways to get your voice heard on the issues that matter to you, while still passing Media Ethics 001 and grabbing Au Bon Pain with your girls!
Hofstra is known for being very politically and socially active, so there are a ton of clubs you can participate in to get your voice out there. You’ll make new friends with like-minded opinions, and have the opportunity to work towards a cause! Some examples of politically/socially active clubs on campus are Campus Feminist Collective, Discovery Club, Student Advocates of Safer Sex, The Pride Network, and Peace Action Matters. To find a list of all clubs at Hofstra, head over to GetInvolvedHU, which you can find in your portal.
This website is one of the best platforms for young voices. From the homepage, you can search thousands of campaigns, register to vote, and see what others are passionate about! They’re sponsored by Coca Cola, Google, General Mills, Johnson&Johnson, and so many other big-name brands, meaning it’s a totally legit website with so many ways to get involved! They recently started a Drop the Mic Campaign, allowing students to air their opinions on how much say young people have in government, and what we can do to change that. You can also sign up for text notifications to stay up-to-date on all the latest campaigns and issues circulating across the country! Here’s the link: https://www.dosomething.org/us
The goal of this website is geared more towards educating young people about issues, but that is the first step towards becoming an active student: getting educated! While SpeakOut is a democratic organization, anyone can get educated on national and global issues! SpeakOut works with colleges and organizations to educate and inspire young people all across America. They run programs and workshops, and give access to resources that can move you to get educated and inspired. Check out their website: https://www.speakoutnow.org/
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even Snapchat and Pinterest, are all incredible tools that give you access to like-minded students and a platform to voice your own opinion. Facebook groups and Twitter hashtags are both ways to stay up to date and get involved with an issue you’re passionate about. Be aware, though, typing #NeverAgain in one Tweet and actually walking out of your classes are two different things. While it’s meaningful to use your social media to show support for issues, ranting on Facebook and posting a Martin Luther King Jr. quote on Instagram can be viewed as performative. Being a campus activist starts with being active, not simply hitting the “post” button.
The way to start conversation about issues that matter to you is to use your actual voice. Talk to your friends, family, professors, and classmates, find a group of people who share your interest, and raise your voices together. Start a campaign on DoSomething, organize a club at Hofstra or your own school, and don’t be afraid to stir the pot. Change starts with one person speaking up about injustice, and that one person could be you! Do your part, use your voice, and make a difference.
All gifs via Giphy.com
Cover image via Unsplash.com