Often one can see a protest or a demonstration and wonder if all that effort is worth the trouble. When the United States decided to invade Iraq in 2003, thousands turned out in the United States (indeed, millions around the world) to protest the invasion. On February 15, 2003, 3 million of people turned out in Rome alone against the U.S.’ intentions.
The end result of some of the most vocal public expressions in history? The invasion of Iraq went forward, as planned, and operations continued in that country for seven years.
San Francisco is no stranger to protest. On April 13th, for example, at San Francisco Sate, dozens of students occupied the administrations building at their university to protest tuition hikes and overcrowded classrooms. As it stands now, tuition will still rise, and classrooms will still be crowded as before.
So it comes as surprise to when public displays of opinion do effect change, both on campus and off. In the case of off-campus change, most notably, we have the people-initiated revolutions of Egypt and Tunisia, which sucessfully occurred without the military intervention of foreign governments and were largely peaceful.
In the case of on-campus change, we have Upward Bound, where university leadership had first decided to sever ties with the program when the contract expired in 2012. After a consistent public outcry in the form of vocal town hall meetings and two campus protests, USF has now decided to renew sponsorship for Upward Bound and allow for its limited use of university facilities.
The Foghorn is not saying that all our problems, both campus-wide and globally, have been solved through public demonstrations. For example, Libya and Syria’s demonstrations for government change were met with violent and forceful resistance from Muammar Qadaffi and Bashar al-Assad, respectively.
Back at home, when KUSF went off the air suddenly in late January, the station rallied support for its reinstatement through hosting public events (see KUSF Lives(s)) and through petitions to the FCC. However, the doors to the old radio studio and transmitter are still locked. Also, the optimistic news of the FCC initially blocking of the transfer of KUSF’s transmitter was dampened by construction permit the FCC issued on April 12 to KDFC for a new transmitter in Sausalito, implying an eventual completion of the transfer of the 90.3 signal to KDFC.
In short, the Foghorn is advocating this: advocate however you can, because it does have an impact. It is worth the trouble to protest, demonstrate, and advocate (in the special case of the USF community), for both our student interests and for the rights and concerns of people around the world.
Whether the fight is to keep a funded account’s budget from going under the knife year after year, or to inform the university of the troubles its new housing policy has generated for underclassmen seeking housing, or to rally against military endeavors your government does in your name, demonstration and public expression is important and necessary; The alternative; i.e., apathy, automatically makes change an impossibility.
Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy
Chief copy-editor: Natalie Cappetta
Opinion Editor: Vicente Patino