I cannot begin to express my overwhelming pride in our community that I felt at Monday’s rally. At the same time, I am deeply, deeply humbled by the solidarity and commitment displayed and felt at the event. I am writing today as a person who never really participated in any protest, and even less so a movement. I’m a bit embarrassed to say that it took such a horrific event as pepper spraying my peers to galvanize and rile me into action. However, I can confidently say that my views have changed on the matter completely: I now know that speaking up and peacefully assembling in an act of civil disobedience is an essential part of any democracy and that remaining silent is tantamount to complacency and approval of injustices.
I urge you, reader, to keep up the momentum, keep up the interest and keep acting on what you know to be right. Don’t be made to be complacent by endless letters from the administration, or let complacency grow in you as time goes by. Instead, capitalize on your will to act now and make a difference that will not only affect your younger siblings, cousins, friends, nephews and nieces, but also the children you might one day have. Protect higher public education so that it may remain a public good, rather than a private investment.
Never more than now, have our voices, individually and as a community been more powerful. The door for dialogue has been swung wide open and the eyes of the nation and world trained on us, so let us be an inspiration and lead our peers across the nation and the world in speaking up against rising tuition fees, larger class sizes, reduction in faculty size, loss of research/internship opportunities, the continuing denial of admission of qualified students on the basis of finances and, of course, campus police brutality. Make our leaders accountable for their actions and statements! I will be out there lending my support and voice, and I hope to see you taking peaceful and respectful action as well. I am damn proud to be an Aggie. Whose university? OUR UNIVERSITY!
Junior computer science engineering major