ONE OF my professors described the Faculty of Arts and Letters as “a microcosm of the society.” We are alive with political intrigues, watchful for unjust system, and most of all, freely immersed into discussions about social issues to let ourselves be aware of what is really happening outside the four walls of our classrooms.
We are a versatile crowd. Crafty, empowered, and well-versed, we are the most vocal of all colleges in the University. We promote intellectual liberalism. Being a part of a liberal arts college, we are equipped with general knowledge which helps us understand how the society works. Aiming to encourage interactive discourse inside classes of any subject, we cannot help but feel almost cynical about everything.
Wrongdoings within and outside the university do not only merit Artlets’ ire but also earn our passionate reactions. Dating from the Martial Law period, student activism was on the rise. Demonstrations and marches were the stigma of every AB student.
Until today, if you belong to the Arts and Letters, you are expected to be critical, especially on the matters of nation building. But times are changing, and our ways to air our discontent might not be as effective as it were before.
Our manifestation of being critical does not end in uproars. Just as how solving a crisis does not end in meetings on a round table. Raising your voice to be heard is one thing—it actually helps in raising awareness about the situation. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is to be able to come up with tangible results and concrete solutions. As a miniature version of the society, we must strive to remove the stigma that being socially involved is only expressed through reactions. It is time to be proactive as a community.
In addressing the culture of apathy that continues to plague the Artlet community, we must think of ways on how we can raise awareness—may it be inside classrooms, across the halls, or outside the vicinity. Insisting one’s bias only scares listeners away. Instead, we must be open to diplomatic means to communicate to the greater crowd. Open-mindedness is the key to any negotiation.
We are much better than shouting empty words that could just fall on deaf ears. We must strive to start in our little but concrete ways tangible changes that we want to see and experience during our stay here in the University. We are more than traditional student activists. Let us be a new band of activists. As the word suggests, it requires us to exert effort to make things real. We insist on feasible plans and tangible results. We should empower others to do the same. Through this, we can finally step out of the stereotype that Artlets are just full of words.
We can do more than just clamor. We move people. We explain to them what we envision. The Artlet community today must embody modern student activists. F
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