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Unprecedented student apathy on Mills campus

Comment to Mills community on "Politics as Un-Usual" event hosted by Public Policy Department Chair Carol Chetkovich:

People have "apathy toward apathy" when it comes down to politics. This was the despairing phrase used by Students for a Democratic Society over 44 years ago to describe the lack of involvement in the politicalprocess. This can be said today, about students and staff at Mills, given the low participation at the 'Politics as Unusual' event featuring Green Party candidates on Wednesday.

The panel engaged in a stimulating discussion about grass roots organizing and shared inspiring stories about their transformations in the process. Given that this was a terrific opportunity to learn about how to make change, it was discouraging that there were not more people in attendance.

The unprecedented assaults on civil liberties by the federal administration, high powered decision-making in Sacramento that has left our communities politically defenseless, and a war that is certain to pass on to this generation the sins of their fathers, begs for new leadership! If Mills does not provide fertile ground to grow leadership for change, she fails in paying a debt to the liberal tradition.

Many students grumble in classrooms about enduring discrimination – gender, race, sex, class – and highly regarded academics school us in the literature, but unless these ideas can be brought into a greater public sphere within Mills, a critical link between the classroom and empowerment in the community is lost.

The Mills community as a whole becomes what the status quo expects us to be: Barbie dolls, all dressed up with nowhere to go.

-Dale Dawson, Class of '06