IMPACT

The Belief That You Can Change The World Hasn't Been 'Beaten Out' Of Student Activists Yet

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05:  Emma Sulkowicz (L), a senior visual arts student at Columbia University, carries a mattress, wi
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: Emma Sulkowicz (L), a senior visual arts student at Columbia University, carries a mattress, with the help of three strangers who met her moments before, in protest of the university's lack of action after she reported being raped during her sophomore year on September 5, 2014 in New York City. Sulkowicz has said she is committed to carrying the mattress everywhere she goes until the university expels the rapist or he leaves. The protest is also doubling as her senior thesis project. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Maybe the campus protests seemed rather isolated at first. Dissatisfaction with the administration. Outrage over bad decisions. A student altercation gone bad.

For example: The protest at Florida State University last fall, when students didn’t like the idea of having the Republican state politician John Thrasher as their school’s president and launched a campaign—#SlashThrasher—against his candidacy. Citing the lawmaker’s corporate ties, various groups staged demonstrations, including some who organized a march to the city center.

Or the protest at the University of Michigan in September, when, amid frustrations over their football team’s losses, students rallied at the home of the school’s president to demand that he fire the athletic director. They had more on their minds than lost points: The director had neglected to remove the team’s quarterback from a football game after he suffered a serious head injury that was later diagnosed as a concussion. (The Florida students’ protest failed to change minds at FSU, but Michigan’s athletic director was quickly sent packing.)

Read more on www.theatlantic.com

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