EDITORIAL: Protesting- how effective is it?
Editorial board, editors
April 25, 2012
Filed under Editorial
At the SCC governing board meeting March 7, an estimated 100 protesters showed up to voice their opinion on several sports programs slated for cuts
Many of the protesters were able to put their names on the agenda and be heard. Many others were left outside the room voicing their concerns to the media and anyone willing to listen.
The outcome was a 4-2 vote to cut the programs.Prior to this staged protest, when the news of these cuts first became known there were grumblings from students on campus, but no rush to sign petitions. So how effective are protests anyway?
In the civil rights era people were lauded for standing up and fighting for their civil liberties. These involved planned and organized demonstrations. Meetings were held in advance to make sure the word got around. There were people who strategized and some semblance of organization.
Dana Fisher, a professor from Columbia University stated in an article on the NPR (National Public Radio) website, “There needs to be a representation of the population that’s willing to sacrifice their time, at least.” Fisher continues: “You need people coming out on more than one day. You need sustained action.
You need people to go home and continue to show their dissatisfaction. They need to make it clear they’re not going to take it anymore. They need to show politicians that change is required.”
Fisher is right about sustained action. Many of today’s protesters jump on the bandwagon showing their disapproval of any issue but by the time they reach their homes, they put away the signs and their thoughts. Aside from protesting an issue, how many people offer solutions. How many people write to their government and continue bombarding them with letters and petitions? This is a missed opportunity with some protestersThings are done in the heat of the moment but the momentum dies off after the rally is staged, the issue presented, and the coverage ends.
Could we have saved the summer school programs? Could we have saved the water polo program? It’s too late now. But as a student body–no not just the student government– collectively we could have formed a forum to at least present alternatives to curtail the cuts.