The Importance Of Student Advocacy

The Importance Of Student Advocacy

How to increase political efficacy among young adults is easier than expected.
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I once asked my principal, "Why do you teach us about Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi and Che Guevara and then suppress student voice?" She, of course, had no answer.

As I sat in the principal's office, her high-pitched voice began to fade out as my embarrassment and indignation grew. When I left the building that afternoon, I headed to the nearest Staples and created 100 posters that went up around the school and got taped to my body. Everything changed after that. I wrote petitions, fought with the administration, went to the school board, had my peers and teachers supporting me, and I made a difference. I rewrote the dress code policy, created a Handbook Committee and, most importantly, I inspired other students to start advocating for themselves and using their voices. As I move onto the next steps in my life, I am hopeful that the underclassmen I am leaving behind in my hometown are going to continue to enact change.

I found that after impacting my school, I became inspired to get more involved, to explore other issues, and to understand politics more. Due to these experiences, I decided to vote in the primaries. I knew that I could make an impact, no matter how small.

The same cannot be said for most people my age, leading to a serious political issue.

Many students don't believe they have anything important to contribute, mostly due to the outlook by most school administrators. Many students don't know what their rights or resources are, making them complacent. Young people are staying silent for fear of repercussions from their school administrators, but they shouldn't be.

In the news, the crisis of young adults with practically no political efficacy and the lowest voter turnout of all age groups has become a perplexing issue for many politicians, educators and political scientists. During this election, young people have lamented over the fact that the campaigns are trying too hard, that they just don't get it. Interestingly enough, also in the news, is the negative press that on-campus protesters get from the same news outlets that are concerned about our voting statistics.

In my eyes, the answer is simple: Allow students to have a voice and they will learn that they are important to our political system. Allowing students to protest, have open forums, and encourage change helps political efficacy increase along with confidence. In a society where millennials are called the "selfish" generation, it is important that young people stand against injustices to create a better place for ourselves and our children.

When students are allowed to exercise their rights, they learn about the political system organically rather than from a book. This is because they can see what kind of impact they have had on their schools and communities. Naturally, these young people will be encouraged to vote and participate more actively in politics.

The future of our country will be bright as long as the next generation is encouraged to grow.

Cover Image Credit: nationalreview.com

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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14 Honest College Things The Class Of 2023 Needs To Know ~Before~ Fall Semester

Sit down, be humble.

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To The Class of 2023,

Before you start your college career, please know:

1. Nobody...and I mean nobody gives a shit about your AP Calculus scores.

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" I got a 5 in Calc AB AND BC, a 5 in AP Literature, awh but I only got a 4 in AP Chem"

2. THE SAME GOES FOR YOUR SAT/ACT SCORES + nobody will know what you're talking about because they changed the test like 10 times since.

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3. College 8 AMs are not the same as your 0 period orchestra class in 12th grade.

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4. You're going to get rejected from a lot of clubs and that does not make you a failure.

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5. If you do get into your clubs, make sure not to overwhelm or overcommit yourself.

visual representation of what it looks like when you join too many clubs

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6. It's OK to realize that you don't want to be pre-med or you want to change majors.

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7. There will ALWAYS ALWAYS be someone who's doing better than you at something but that doesn't mean you're behind.

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8. "I'm a freshman but sophomore standin-" No, you don't have to clarify that, you'll sound like an asshole.

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9. You may get your first ever B-, C+ or even D OR EVEN A W in your life. College is meant to teach you how to cope with failure.

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10. Go beyond your comfort zone. Join a theatre club if you're afraid of public speaking. Join an animal rescue club if you're afraid of animals. College is learning more about yourself.

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11. Scholarships do exist. APPLY APPLY APPLY.

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12. Don't try to brag about all the stuff you did in high school, you'll just sound like a weenie hut jr. scout

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13. Understand and be sensitive to the fact that everybody around you has a different experience and story of getting to university.

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14. You're going to be exposed to people with different opinions and views, don't fight them. Instead, try to explain your perspective and listen to their reasoning as well.

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