Student apathy: A false charge; OU is debunking and defying unflattering myths

By Staff Editorial

For those who say college students are apathetic, we suggest taking a closer look.

It’s a common misconception that young adults are oblivious to current events, that they don’t care what’s going on in the world, and that all they do is party and drink. Unfortunately, it’s an opinion that even The Oakland Post has given weight to at times.

Taking a closer look, The Post has mounting evidence to the contrary; we checked our archives for the proof. (OK, we’re not denying that college students party, but that’s not all we do.)

Take into consideration all of the charitable involvement on OU’s campus. Last month’s Haiti-Palooza! was a wild success, raising over $3,000 — almost $7,000 if you consider President Gary Russi’s match.

This week Sigma Alpha Epsilon launches their Bic-A-Brother fundraiser, where the proceeds will help Leukemia research. If shaving your head for cancer research doesn’t constitute as dedication, we don’t know what does. Our own Mouthing Off editor donated his hair to make a wig.

Phi Sigma Sigma will be hosting their annual Mr. PhiSignificant male charm pageant this Saturday. Their Wild Wild West theme will raise money for the National Kidney Foundation.

Student organizations across campus are participating in events like Relay for Life, another program raising money for cancer research in March.

Philanthropic events aren’t the only way students are championing awareness on OU’s campus. Events like this Friday’s “Who’s Got Crabs?” are commonplace in OU Housing to educate residents and commuters about social issues. The program is dedicated to sexual education and safety, with a lighthearted and fun spin. (See our cover story on page 6 for more details.)

Think about it: We have an impact on society. Young adults were an important demographic in our last presidential election. And President Obama’s use of our generation’s technology worked to his advantage.

At OU, student interest in politics is no different. When former radical Bill Ayers came to OU last spring there was an impressive turnout. The event was viewed as controversial by some, as Ayers was once a member of the 1960s Weather Underground, and is viewed by some as a “terrorist.” Supporters and dissenters alike gathered to participate in the event.

Last fall during the professors’ union strike, students made sure their voices were heard above the clamor. They went to board of trustee meetings, attended the rallies, and gave their two cents on the issues.

To say that young adults are lazy, uninterested and undeserving of respect is out of date and out of line.

In today’s current economy, college students are realizing that a cushy lifestyle will not be handed to them on a silver platter. The days of easy jobs and easy money are long gone; you have to work twice as hard if you want to succeed. In fact, we will probably have to work harder than our parents ever imagined when they were our age.

Our participation in local and national charities, our awareness of important social, political and university issues, and our avid interest in our futures all amount to one thing: We are not oblivious.

We are the exact opposite. We know it — now it’s time to spread the word.