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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson
Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Pizza Cat Vol. 9
Pizza Cat Vol. 9
Deirdre Northrup-Riesterer April 17, 2024

Students must become activists now

“We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit,” opens the Port Huron statement, the document which would become the founding proclamation of Students for a Democratic Society in 1962.

Unlike the youth of the 1960s, our generation now does not reflect a discontent with the calamity of the world we will inherit.   The modern student is lost in intoxicated fun, continuous consumption, and a blind belief in a compensated future.  As students, we must do more to oppose injustice in every form we see and halt business as usual.

Business is ugly. Over 150 million gallons of oil will have unknown consequences for marine life for generations in the Gulf.  And combat troops pull out of Iraq, not Afghanistan, as robot weapons fly over the Middle East and the US-Mexico border.  One million gallons of oil seeped into the Kalamazoo River along with another leak near Chicago this past Saturday at the hands of Enbridge Energy Partners. The multi-national mining behemoth, Rio Tinto/Kennecott, is looming catastrophe over sacred public lands and water ways in our backyard.  And there is a sale on something at the mall.

This is a taste of the crisis in our mode of existence today and it is outrageously real.

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This needs to be stopped.  The world and her inhabitants are being killed and the ones making money from the spectacle have immunity.  We are the benefactors of this beautiful Earth that is rapidly becoming an industrial wasteland in constant resource wars, yet we do not act.

The insurrectionary desire of students to challenge, resist, and change the established order is absent. Activism is for the activists and anarchists outside the G8, unless it’s joining a Facebook group.  And this absence of action against injustice and violence brings me to a troubling diagnosis: the modern college student is inflicted with apathy.

Why does anything have to threaten my existence when I have comfort behind screens, gas for my car and food in the cafeteria?

Consumer-oriented apathy has domesticated our sense of love and rage.  The spectacle of consumerism has fizzled out any burning momentum to stand up for the Earth and peace.  We only aim to make it through this institution with a degree and minimal debt only to be institutionalized into a stable job.

Student activism is as American as the Boston Tea Party, and past student movements that broke out of apathy and stood up to power revealed a force to be reckoned with. The students of America protested war and demanded direct democracy. The students of the South organized for civil rights and challenged oppression in many forms.  And they did this by dreaming of days of love, not violence, then took their dreams to the street into occupations of public spaces and into literature to be dispersed among their peers.  In their action, they found that their desires could become reality, and we have some desires that are awaiting reality if we want.

I want no war.  I want no oil in oceans and rivers.  I want  the Yellow Dog Watershed and Lake Superior to remain pristine.  And I am willing to struggle for a peaceful, healthy Earth because all life that shares this planet is in peril, a peril that we tolerate with our inactive silence.

We have nothing to lose but war, environmental degradation, and shallow consumerism. We have a world of pleasure and an Earth-loving way of living to win.

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