An individual’s voice is the most powerful tool to express one’s views. With this in mind, when several fellow students wanted to organize a conversation about sexual violence, I supported their decision to share their thoughts.
After all, missing one class was a small price to pay for discussing an issue of paramount importance to our generation. I made the choice to attend, originally as a Gator reporter, but as I sat in the circle, I was intrigued to hear what my peers had to say.
The discussion circled around topics of consent, sexual violence, and sexual stereotyping. I was moved by some statements, which asked me to consider things I had never thought about. When the gathering wrapped up after an hour, I left with with new perspectives—and I feel eager about learning even more.
The intervention was justified and a phenomenal use of my time.Conversations are a great way to initiate movements, but after the intervention, I couldn’t help but think that politicians and others in positions to enact policy changes will neither hear about nor be influenced by the event held here.
I urge students to continue fostering conversations about issues that matter to them, but in order to raise more awareness to bring about progress, more effective and sustained action is essential.
For example, so that voices are heard beyond classroom walls, I suggest organizing a time to call and share concerns with elected representatives. Organizing a protest or demonstration outside of the Massachusetts State House might also grab some news headlines, putting student concerns on politician’s radars.
Students here could also organize a group to attend the Boston Women’s March For America event in January, which would be a powerful extension of the intervention.
Bottom line: The intervention was a bold and necessary act to start conversation, but for real, lasting change to occur, more needs to be done. From what I’ve seen, I’m confident that we can help get the job done.