Students’ political apathy intolerable

Universities used to be places of demonstration, political discussion and a general challenging of society and ones’ beliefs. Think of University of California, Berkeley in the 1960s. What happened? It seems now more than ever – and especially at TCU – students are taking a step back and coasting through their four, five or even six years here without ever really listening to what the other guy has to say. There is an attitude of apathy that permeates our campus. While TCU is changing on the outside, it’s imperative that we start looking inward. Chancellor Victor Boschini said it himself, this semester is “R-rated” and is called such to promote rights, responsibilities and respect for others. TCU is urging students to make an impact.

The first goal of this endeavor is to demonstrate TCU’s dedication to free inquiry and open discussion. Fittingly, the first in line of five scheduled political speakers to take place on campus is Duncan Hunter, a hopeful candidate for the 2008 presidential election. OK, TCU, here is your chance. Begin this semester in a way you had not anticipated and attend the discussion. You might learn something new. Even if you disagree with Hunter’s views, the discussion provides a way to get an inside look at how our political system operates.

“Democracy is a participatory sport,” said James Riddlesperger, department chair of political science. He said political discussions aren’t only important for students who should be informed of issues facing the nation, but also for candidates who strive to gain feedback from students.

In this rapidly changing world, we must be knowledgeable about local, national and international issues, as they all affect us. College students make up the lowest population of political participation, Riddlesperger said.

Apathy doesn’t get you far, maybe just through college. This semester, TCU is providing many opportunities for students to enlighten themselves to global issues. The chance to seize these opportunities is up to you.

Opinion editor Sonya Cisneros for the editorial board.