Opinion: Open letter to Kent State students

Marvin Logan is a senior Pan-African Studies major. Contact him at mlogan6@kent.edu.

Marvin Logan is a senior Pan-African Studies major. Contact him at [email protected].

Marvin Logan

This school year has seen its fair share of up and downs. For some, it may seem to be filled with gloom and tragedy. It has been a particularly difficult year from the perspective of a young marginalized individual. Often in my columns, I challenge people. However, recently I have seen much energy devoted toward things that don’t greatly contribute to the betterment of students.

We have had multiple demonstrations on campus this year for multiple reasons. We have had plenty of reason to. Whether it’s someone questioning our students’ lifestyles, having fair pay for workers, we have seen students galvanize at an encouraging rate. 

However, something has been very discouraging. Very rarely have I seen students reaching across the lines to support each other. What is even more upsetting is the lack of attention given to things that can help improve everyone. “An injustice somewhere is a threat to injustice everywhere.” I distinctly remember someone saying that. Does that notion still ring true today?

Students at our university find all kinds of interesting things to do with their time. What I haven’t seen enough of is taking the opportunity to do something with it. Sure, we see some of the outliers, and we occasionally celebrate them. However, there are too few. 

We have issues that affect all students, such as harassment by the police, local politics and higher education funding. Unfortunately, when students have the opportunity to get involved with issues of such nature, they have been absent. It is simply unacceptable. We can send the Internet into an uproar over the color of a dress. We can spend time talking about a television show with enough material for a thesis. But when we have the chance to take a stand for something that can make a change for everyone, we are too preoccupied. As we continue that practice, we drive ourselves farther apart. 

We have a responsibility as citizens of the universe to contribute to it. We have civic duties as Americans. People either forget that, or they never knew it to begin. There are places in the world that stand on the brink of losing everything they hold dear. There are places in the world where people have to risk their lives for an education.  There are people down the street, reading this article, or living next door to you that don’t have any food. Selfishness drives us. Most average people should be ashamed, but they won’t be. They’ll go on living their happy lives. Ask yourself, how did I make the world a better place? Did you spend it trying to take down one peg, or did you plant the C-4 in a column of an institution of wrongdoing?

I digress. The point is, do something worth doing. Stand up when it actually matters, not just when it’s convenient or cool for you to do so. Be a better person. Do a deed for someone. Camp outside so that the person next to you or the kid looking up at you has a better chance at life, not so that you have the newest phone, game or shoes. Stop kidding yourselves and actually do. Continue to challenge yourselves and each other.

P.S. Administrators and so-called adults aren’t exempt from this burn either.