Miami University is helping students obtain funding for social action activities that show collaboration between many student groups through the Office of Community Engagement and Service. There are mini-grants available funded by the Parents’ Fund in which students can request up to $1,000. Students can also obtain funds from the Western Inquiry Center for various student activism projects and trips.
Miami students participated in the Group of 20 (G-20) Conference peaceful protest Sept. 25 in Pittsburgh with help from these funds. The wide range of protestors included anti-war protestors, labor unions and health care protestors. The students received $200 to help cover the cost of gas to drive to Pittsburgh.
The current generation of college students is often referred to as the instant gratification generation and criticized for its sense of apathy. Some students complain they aren’t able to create the change they want to see in the world. Although the 2008 presidential election showed many students do care, to many it pales in comparison with the waves of student protests in the 1960s and 1970s. With the current economic crisis and ongoing conflict in the Middle East, student activism is arguably more important now than ever.
The editorial board of The Miami Student hopes these funding options will encourage students to get involved in an important social and political issues. Learning how to take steps to make a difference is something that can’t be taught in the classroom, and it is important for students to find the issues about which they feel passion.
Miami’s campus is a more exciting place when students are excited about an issue. Student activism is a way to be involved for a cause in a positive way. The Social Action Center ended in 2004 when the director left and the grants are being given to help revitalize the center.
The editorial board encourages students to do research on regional, national and international issues and to take advantage of available mini-funds. College gives students the opportunity to gain important knowledge on important social issues and these funds give students the chance to put that knowledge into action.