Staff Editorial: Our Chance to Live the Mission

As Fordham students and as citizens, it is our duty to not only have an opinion, but also to act on it.

By THE OBSERVER EDITORIAL BOARD

In the coming years, future generations of the civic-minded will ask us what it was like living in the era of the Trump administration. They will ask what it meant to be on a college campus, historically a breeding ground for activism. They will ask how we responded to the events of the day, and how we shaped the future of a nation — and a world — in the clutch of an identity crisis. Now, on the cusp of a major election and facing the aftermath of an impeachment trial that was years in the making, we get to decide what we’ll tell them.

Attending a university located at the epicenter of this storm and in the cultural capital of the world, Fordham students are uniquely positioned to respond to the staggering humanitarian, economic, political and environmental crises that define the modern world. 

Now is the time, and this is the place, to make our actions count.”

From this year’s Women’s March and impeachment protests at neighboring Columbus Circle to the ongoing struggle of recognizing Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) right here on campus, the action is taking place literally right outside our doors. 

We are a short walk or train ride away from major political events where we have the opportunity to impact the decisions of our nations’ leaders. Further, the rhetoric of the Jesuit tradition compels us to pay attention. 

“To assist in the alleviation of poverty, the promotion of justice, the protection of human rights and respect for the environment”: This is the purpose of our education, and we’re in the perfect place to see it through.

If everyone picks up a rock, we can move mountains.”

Many Fordham students have joined in on the action, attending rallies against the MTA and signing petitions demanding that Columbus Day be renamed Indigenous Peoples’ Day, while other times the movements are brought onto campus, with Fordham hosting a co-founder of the #BlackLivesMatter movement to share their struggles and experience. The mantra of “New York is my campus” has never rung more true, and indeed it seems our Jesuit responsibility to be “women and men for others” is more direct and urgent than ever.

As Fordham students and as citizens, it is our duty to not only have an opinion, but also to act on it. Whether you’re pounding the pavement with a handmade sign, registering to vote and ensuring others do the same, or just studying hard to get an internship somewhere you can make a difference, you’re helping to change the world. Even simple acts such as sharing a social media account or raising awareness for online petitions can make a large impact on a digital audience. Although this may seem like an impossible task, if everyone picks up a rock, we can move mountains. If you have an issue with the current state of politics in America, do something about it. Now is the time, and this is the place, to make our actions count.

When asked what we did at this turning point in history, our answer should be more than “nothing much.” At the center of the world, in a watershed moment, at a service-oriented college and surrounded by some of the brightest minds of our generation, we are called to live the mission. Will you?