Dear Cabrini Students:
There is one outcome of the 2004 election that all of us at Cabrini should feel great about, no matter what our political affiliation: Students registered, voted and talked about the political process this year with an intensity that hasn’t been seen on this campus in decades. We do not have an official tally on this, but my guestimate is that close to 70 percent of the student body voted this year, many of you for the first time.
The lion’s share of credit for that goes to Cabrini students who gave heart and soul to this election season and to the issues and candidates Americans were asked to vote on this year. Special kudos to the College Republicans, led by Julia Knudson, the Student Democrats, led by Ryan Cox and the Rock the Vote campaign, led by Marcy Fonseca. The level of energy and positive, issue-focused discussion those groups brought to campus life was terrific. Politics is just another word for “building community,” one of our core values at Cabrini. You showed us how that’s done with spirit and civility.
A word to students from someone who’s been involved in election campaigns since the early 70s: If your party lost, give yourself some time to recover and then get back up and find ways to be involved on issues you care about. Politics isn’t just one event every four years-it’s also running for office on campus, supporting a local official who will stand up for issues like good schools or clean air or respect for everyone. There will always be people “running things” – why not you, with a college-educated brain and heart?
If your party won, enjoy the celebration and then keep watching the news. Hold your candidates accountable for what they said they’d do, not only for you but also for people who didn’t or couldn’t vote for them, in the United States and around the world. Lives and minds are at stake.
To all students: Don’t pass up opportunities to stay involved with “grassroots politics” while you’re in college.
Run for a student leadership office on campus. Register for a Leadership with Heart one-credit course. Sign a letter to Congress on an issue affecting the poor during the Hunger & Homelessness Campaign. Get your team or club involved with community service. Write a paper for a class investigating an area of injustice or human need, and then publish part of it in your home paper or the Loquitur, call in your thoughts to The Burn or to your Congressional representative’s office.
Your generation showed up at the polls on Nov. 2. That makes all of you active citizens, no matter who you voted for. So keep showing up to build a world you’ll be proud to have your kids grow up in. We need every one of your voices.
The Wolfington Center
Posted to the Web by Lori Iannella