University activism refers to the work that students carry out to bring about changes in social, economic, environmental, or political lives. Activism is work. It requires plenty of dedication and a laser-like focus on the task at hand. Otherwise, one may easily give up in case things don’t pan out as originally envisaged. Fortunately, many student activists are a highly dedicated lot who let nothing get in the way of achieving what they want to accomplish.
Below, you will see several research examples about university activism.
Before going into the examples, let’s first look at how you can be a student activist. You must:
- Identify a cause that you’re passionate about
- Learn all you can about that cause
- Determine what you need to achieve in terms of tangible goals
- Maximize your resources, which can be your relationships with fellow students
- Develop an action plan
Additionally, it would be great knowing how you can express activism. Your options include:
- Civil disobedience
- Going to the media
- Presenting petitions
- Internet activism
Examples of University Activism
Now that you know all that, the next issue is the examples of university activism, which you need to know. These examples are essential for several reasons. For starters, they offer encouragement to students who may be interested in organizing specific types of activism but have no idea how to go about it all. Additionally, the examples show how students are able to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve their activism-related goals.
- Reclaim Harvard Law
Harvard Law School is one of the world’s most elite institutions of higher learning. It enjoys global recognition as a paragon of knowledge and supreme education. Nevertheless, the college also has a not-so-pleasant side. Black students have been organizing university activism to bring these issues to the fore. The students have rallied around Reclaim Harvard Law to fight for racial equality in the school. They have raised awareness regarding this issue through:
- Social media campaigns
- Speaking engagements
- Woolworth’s Sit-in
In 1960, students organized a sit-in in Woolworth. They did this as a protest against the “whites’ only” policy that was in effect at one restaurant. The sit-in took place during lunch. That single act would then have a ripple effect that lasted several years. For example, it led to the founding of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which in later years, would join the Civil Rights Movement from where it played a crucial role in agitating for the rights of the blacks.
- Pay It Forward Tuition Plan
Student activism doesn’t always focus on racial segregation. It also delves into other issues that students consider pertinent to successful academic life. Portland State University students organized Pay It Forward Tuition Plan, as a solution for graduating from college without huge debts. The activism convinced the Oregon legislature to draft and pass a bill that enabled students to graduate without paying. However, they had 24 years to finish repaying student loans.
- 1970 Student Strike
The United States has never experienced a larger student strike than the one of 1970. At the time, 4 million students from various universities around the country protested the decision use the military to invade Cambodia. Students from over 450 high schools and post-high school campuses took part in the protests. What is more, the protests also dealt with the deaths of students of Kent State University. Additionally, they never stopped protesting for two months.
- Boston College Students Activism for Sexual Health
Students at Boston College considered sex education and birth control important issues deserving of proper, prolonged agitation. Their activism attracted coverage by the national media. The call to protest arose after the college threatened to punish students who were agitating for such rights. All students who took part in the activism demanded a referendum on sexual health.
These are just but a few examples of the power that activists hold. In some situations, only a handful of students were involved in the protests. However, other situations saw large groups running into thousands, and millions of students come together to fight for issues that matter to them. The overriding theme in all this is the students got what they fought for; thereby proving that university activism is well and truly alive.