Conard is a junior international relations major and business minor and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Taylor Soule, photo editor
Drake, we need to have a talk. I’d say “It’s not me, it’s you,” except that it seems to be all of us. I believe there’s a pervasive culture of apathy on campus. Sparsely attended events, widely ignored blueView messages, scuffed-up chalk messages on the sidewalk…When’s the last time you’ve seen a political demonstration on campus? These don’t just point to a specific symptom but a general problem of indifference.
You see it every day — Campus Fellowship has a table in Olmsted, Pi Kappa Phi’s philanthropy is on Helmick Commons and the Coalition of Black Students’ event is on Pomerantz, but there are always 20 times as many chairs as necessary. Don’t forget about those Facebook invites you have sitting in your sidebar from people you barely know. It honestly seems like most events are attended by those involved, the best friends of the organizers and a few curious passersby.
Organizations do try their hardest to put the message out there. Student Senate tried admirably to promote its community calendar last year, but it never seemed to get off the ground. There just seem to be so many students at Drake who are so wrapped up in their own lives that they don’t live outside the little bubble they’ve cultivated.
It’s not that Drake students aren’t involved; sometimes I think we can be over-involved, trying to take advantage of as many opportunities as our delightfully small campus has to offer.
There are many who are Greek, presidents, treasurers and RAs all at once. That’s fine. You also have classes and Hubbell sickness to balance. I get that. I myself am probably more occupied with extracurricular activities than necessary. I am also part of this problem.
I’m not saying we have to bomb Harvey Ingham or anything, but I don’t see any widespread anger or outrage on this campus. Race issues? Whatever. Tuition hikes? Meh. We’d rather #occupy a study table.
I actually do remember the last time I’ve seen a true, widespread political demonstration on campus. Two years ago, when six members of the Westboro Baptist Church came to picket a same-sex symposium sponsored by the Drake Law School, 500 students showed up to counter-rally them. That Saturday morning was incredible — seeing that many students united under one umbrella cause of equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation.
Is it because we’re not a state school and those elite who work right across the river do not decide our tuitions? Is it because of our strenuous academic schedules, not counting the School of Business? Do we need to tone down our own lives to take advantage of this multitude of on-campus opportunities? I don’t know, because I’m also asking myself these questions. Maybe we all need to burst our bubbles and venture into an experience that makes us question what we know, how we feel and why we came to Drake in the first place.