I am a sophomore who attends Syracuse University. I love that my school offers so many opportunities for success through its academic reputation, and ways to get involved through thousands of clubs on campus. Yet, recently on campus, there were two events that occurred where racist graffiti was written in bathrooms on campus. After these events, a movement has started on campus called #NotAgainSU that rallies for calls for change in the university's delayed response time, and lack of action on punishing the students involved in these hate crimes.
In light of this movement, I have decided to write 5 ways that you can show your support for movements that matter to you.
1. Sign petitions.
Petitions have been used for centuries as a powerful way to evoke change by using power in numbers. If you have a movement that you are passionate about, ask if they have a petition that you can sign. Signing a paper may seem like a small task, but the more signatures petitions receive, the more effective they are. No one thought that Woman's suffrage petition was important, until it received over 30,000 signatures. When you sign a petition, you will be surprised at how many people sign it too.
2. Post on social media.
We live in a time period where thousands of people can see posts within seconds. A great way for using your social media platform is by promoting movements that you are passionate about. This gives more people the ability to participate and share their own opinions about the issue. On Syracuse University's campus, the hashtag #NotAgainSU has been an effective way of spreading the movement around to the student population, and over five hundred students attended a protest held in a building on campus. None of that would have been possible if students were not aware of the protest through social media.
3. Attend protests.
At protests, attendance matters. The more people that show up to protests, the more seriously the issue being protested is taken. Even if you are on the fence about your personal views, attending a protest can help you to decide how you stand on an issue. You can hear people talk about their own reasons for being at the protest, and be able to create your own opinions based off of this. The protest of Tiananmen square in Hong Kong is still talked about to this day because more than one million people attended this protest. The more people that attend, the more of a statement it will make about how much this movement matters to people.
4. Listen to people's stories.
When participating in a movement, it is important to respect and understand exactly what has caused this movement to start. Let people share their stories, and while they do show them love and support. The more people come forward to share, the more people the movement will attract. After people explain their stories for joining the movement, share these stories. You never know how each person listening will perceive the stories, and what reasons will resonate with them for joining the movement
5. Be vocal about your views.
It can be easy to stay passive about your views because you are afraid to face judgment from people who do not share the same views as you. Yet, if people are not vocal about their own opinions on issues, then nothing will change. Therefore, even though it is scary, when people ask you what your views are on certain events, be honest with them. Tell them exactly why you choose to support this movement, and who knows, they might join the movement as well. By being vocal about movements, it is a great way to spread awareness and ultimately create change.