Noah Krigel is an industrial technology and packaging freshman. Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the editorial content and viewpoints of Mustang News.
Last quarter, we saw the start of a new, possible monumental movement on our campus: SLO Solidarity. Within a few weeks, we had a Facebook page with hundreds of members, posters strewn across the University Union and marches around the university. Only a quarter later the posters, discussions and passion were all replaced with groans. “We have a perfect little San Luis Obispo bubble here, why can’t we just all get along?” many said. “We’re just here to get an education, okay?”
In other words, we refocused our energy, making sure we stayed ignorant of the world around us. Since then, across campus, I’ve heard many students tell me they wished Cal Poly could become more politically active. To an extent, I agree, but I doubt our ignorance would diminish. Instead, I worry we’d start protesting for the sake of it, rather than for an actual cause.
For example, many college students across the nation have joined a movement called the BDS, boycotting and divesting from Israel, in order to support Palestinians. Yet by hurting the Israeli economy, the Palestinian economy is also harmed because the two are intertwined. To make matters worse, the movement also prevents peace and indirectly supports Hamas, a terrorist organization. But the college students who are advocating for BDS don’t always understand these implications. Instead, they merely enjoy the idea of having a global impact. This mentality frightens me because it is not only ignorant, but also dangerous.
Now let me clarify, I’m not arguing that Cal Poly’s political climate — or lack thereof — is better than that of other campuses such as Pitzer College or UC Berkeley. Rather, neither is superior. But we don’t have to be. It’s easy to educate ourselves on community and global issues. Politics offers us an amazing way to communicate and gain unique perspectives. Embracing different opinions enables us to become better developed individuals.
All it takes is reading a few diverse articles online and talking about them with a friend. I came to Cal Poly ready to meet people with different mindsets, opinions and values. I wanted to learn how other people understood the world. Instead, I found a group of people who avoided any sort of political confrontation.
Yet what scared me was the ignorance. We’re a college campus. Learn.
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