GUEST ROOM | My Path to Activism

Editor’s note: This column was submitted as part of a nationwide campaign to raise awareness for Teach For America, and was facilitated by TFA staff. If your Facebook feed is anything like mine these days, it’s filled with articles and posts from all sides of the political spectrum as people seek to make sense of changing social and political climate. But underneath the chaos, I see my friends grappling with the big question of our time: how will our generation create the future we dream of? As a soon-to-be graduate, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my personal role in shaping our nation’s future — thinking beyond logging into social media or donating a few bucks to the causes that matter to me. Because when I added up my day-to-day actions, I couldn’t kick the feeling that it just wasn’t enough.

MORADI | When Slacktivism Becomes Activism

Today at noon, many of you will head out to Ho Plaza and protest Donald Trump’s immigration ban and border wall. Many of you will Snapchat it. Many of you will take photos, and many of you will Instagram them. I mean, that’s exactly what I did in November, when thousands of us walked out of class and marched across campus in solidarity and in protest. There were thousands of bodies standing, hugging, resisting; but above them were countless wriggling hands tightly wrapped around iPhones.

HAGOPIAN | What to Do When You Know the Worst Is Coming

Sanders/Castro 2020

Now that that’s out of the way, I want to make a few points about what just happened. I grew up in a rural small town. My family was working class, as was everyone else. I stuck out a little because of my Middle-Eastern heritage, but for the most part life was great. I had friends.


O’BRIEN | #FreeKesha: Victim-Blaming and Sexual Assault in the Music Industry

Last Friday, Kesha lost her legal battle for Sony to release her from her contractual obligation to her producer, Dr. Luke. Kesha claims that Dr. Luke drugged and raped her when she was 18 years old, and that he sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abused her over a period of 10 years. New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich ruled that she was going to do the “commercially reasonable thing” and uphold the contract, telling Kesha that Doctor Luke’s $60 million investment in her career “decimates your argument.” The judge’s denial of Kesha’s request to obtain an injunction to break her contract was a devastating blow not only to Kesha’s emotional well-being — not to mention her career — but to the ability for other people who have been victims of sexual abuse in the music industry to come forward. Sony has argued that it should be enough for Kesha that they will allow her to record music without ever having to interact with Dr. Luke. But, as her music would still be under the control of Dr. Luke’s imprint, this leaves him in a position of power over Kesha — allowing him to profit from her sales or, alternatively, to take any number of actions to use his power to continue his abuse or enact revenge.

COLLINS | Aviva Rahmani’s Blued Trees and the Fight Against Pipelines

The relationship between art and law in the United States often seems to be characterized by the latter settling issues about the production and consumption of the former. Artists and consumers have taken to the courts to settle issues about the boundaries of obscenity, fair use and various other issues. A large part of what makes eco-artist Aviva Rahmani’s Blued Trees captivating is Rahmani’s desire to flip the script and use art as a tool to achieve legal gains. This is not to say that Blued Trees is purely a legal maneuver. The work, which consists of “tree ‘notes’” painted with a “slurry of non-toxic ultramarine blue pigment and buttermilk” to “form discreet 1/3 mile long ‘measures’ in the symphony,” functions on multiple levels: musical, spatial, visual.

1958 Student Protests

Curfews and parties were the subject of this 1958 student protest where students struck fear into the heart of the administration by throwing eggs and waving flags. Sun File Photo.

Generation O: Is it Over? Activism After the Election

On Nov. 4, Barack Hussein Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States. A key contingent of Obama’s support base was the nation’s youth — most recently termed Generation O — who campaigned across the country for “The Change We Need.” Now that the American citizenry has voted in favor of Obama, the question remains as to what will happen to the student activism.
While Prof. Theodore Lowi, government, called the increase of student activism “impressive,” he sees it as a unique phenomenon.