Streaks for change

April 4th, 2014

In the next few weeks, two John Carroll University student organizations will be sponsoring a series of events to increase awareness about two different issues on campus. While the issues are very different, they both push students to act more conscientiously.

Beginning Monday, March 31, the Environmental Issues group began sponsoring a series of events to increase awareness about environmental sustainability. These events have been taking place each day of the week, ranging from an open mic night on Monday, to a service opportunity taking place this coming Saturday, April 5.

Considering the growing concern over global warming and environmental issues, these students are taking the first step in the right direction by addressing problems and making changes in their own small way. By combining education with recreational activities, this group will hopefully be able to attract a large crowd. The rest of the student body needs to take notice of these events and become more cognizant of the impact they can have.

It is important to keep in mind the effect that even small actions can have. For example, turning off lights when leaving a room or riding a bike to the store instead of taking a car may seem insignificant on a small scale. However, such small actions can start influential trends, and this group makes students aware of that fact.

Although it is only one organization in a small private university, educating students on the importance of their actions is the first step to making a significant difference.

Similarly, another group of students is hosting their annual sexual violence awareness event, Take Back the Night. This group is part of an international organization that seeks to empower women and raise awareness about the injustices of sexual violence.

These students provide a way for women to talk about  things that they may not have felt comfortable talking about before. Through different events – such as the annual march on campus – these students encourage women to push back against the mentality that sexual violence has to be kept quiet.

This group also will be holding a “no-bake” sale in which men will be charged $1 and women will be charged $.77 to represent the wage gap between male and female employees. This approach is a novel and concrete way to demonstrate an issue that affects a large number of women in the work force.

The students of Take Back the Night confront longstanding issues through inventive means that engage students directly and personally. Both of these organizations encourage students to address these issues and help them become men and women for others.

Futhermore, the knowledge students gain at JCU will help them make an impact on a larger scale, even after they graduate from John Carroll.