Our Reader: Syracuse University students should stand up for city, undocumented students in uncertain political climate
Like many Americans, I spent the days following Nov. 8, 2016, in a death spiral of distress, fear and anger. After fretting for my friends and fellow writers, I began to consider what awaited the undergraduate students at Syracuse. My instinctual response was jealousy. I thought about how nice it would be to spend the next few years in a bubble of cheesy dorm events, basketball, late-night existential crises, and Frisbee sessions on the quad. (Even term papers don’t seem that bad when compared to stress-reading Medium articles about the likelihood of a nuclear holocaust.) But then I remembered the resistance movements that were borne out of Berkeley and Kent State and the University of Missouri. I saw another direction for our school.
I hope that each student here — undergraduate, professional, and graduate — takes the current political situation as impetus to become a little braver and more inquisitive. I hope all of you stand up for the greater community of Syracuse, a sanctuary city whose history is indebted to its immigrants. I hope you do not rely on your professors to teach you everything that matters. If you are reading Hannah Arendt for your philosophy course but not attending protests, then you are missing out. If you leave your business ethics at the door when your business ethics class ends, open your eyes.
I firmly believe that our shared pursuit of higher learning at this university calls us to help one another. My feelings have only strengthened now that 50 Syracuse students have been advised not to leave the country out of risk of deportation. These students are not “our friends” or “our neighbors.” They are us. Don’t think of this as a fight for some distant strain of idealism. We are fighting to save ourselves.
Anna Marshbanks Kelley
M.F.A. Candidate, Poetry
Published on January 30, 2017 at 11:05 pm