Carrying on the Guilford tradition

Everybody at Guilford knows that Guilford is famous for taking a stand on what is right. It’s in our history.

But isn’t it time we make new history?

Recently, USA Today College released an article discussing the top college protests of 2012. Cooper Union, University of Virginia and Pennsylvania State were among the colleges mentioned in the article.

Some of the protests included sit-ins over tuition increases, ousting the school president and protesting for diversity tolerance.

“We are fortunate to live and learn in Greensboro where social justice takes many forms and perspectives,” said James Shields, director of the Bonner Center for Community Learning at Guilford.

This is true, but do we as students use Guilford’s and Greensboro’s rich history to our advantage? Guilford seems to have a placebo effect on students. Just because they are here, they feel as if they are activists.

These days, it is easy to make yourself believe you are making an impact without truly ever doing anything. We live in a world where you can change your Facebook picture to a red equal sign to make yourself part of a movement.

In reality, you did nothing. It did not take any thought to change that picture. In fact, it did not even take compassion. Without thought or compassion, is it something that truly matters to you, or is it just popular demand?

That’s as far as it goes. Maybe someone will ask you about it and then you will regurgitate a few facts that you learned from Wikipedia, but other than that your job is done.

It seems that no sit-ins, marches or volunteering is necessary to be an activist today.

Sure you might voice your opinion in class or behind King while you smoke your Marlboros, but does that make a difference?

There is a difference between pointing out a problem and actually doing something about it. Guilford students love to find problems to complain about, but when it comes to acting on those problems, we shy away like we have done enough.

Recently, Guilford has taken some heat because of the new fountain being built behind Founders over the summer. Students came together before spring break to express their discomfort about the idea. All it took was a week-long break and now the fountain seems to be of no concern anymore.

Students are making the mistake of living through our college’s history, history that none of us had a part in. It’s easy to talk about past achievements, but it is more fulfilling to achieve new things.

It’s time we make new history instead of relying on the past. Let’s be remembered for carrying on the Guilford tradition not killing it.