Importance of Supporting College Activism on Campus

2 min read

Julia Sachs

Activism on university campuses carries benefits for the student body and campus, and can come in many forms, such as protesting the quality of campus food or escalating to marching to the state capitol to protest a federal bill.

On an individual level, students get a personal sense of purpose when being active for a cause they believe in. Protests to better a campus also bring wider benefits, such as making the campus a more desirable place to attend (and therefore generating tuition fees).

Campuses often have many advocate clubs, such as Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ organizations. However, there are also smaller groups that vary from campus to campus. Ecological protests are common, such as protesting against a university for using fossil fuels, or women’s activism and petitioning for institutions to provide free period products in bathrooms.


How institutions can support activism in college

  •  Colleges can directly support activism on campus grounds - and the simplest way is by allowing protesting without any fear of retaliation.
  • If an important protest is coming up that is during college hours, exceptions should be made for those willing to join, such as extended deadlines or canceled classes (based on the event's importance). Colleges should establish a doctrine that does not punish students for attending events if they remain peaceful.
  • Campus police should be educated and active in protests - not used as a counter force, but as a safety mechanism. If students trust their police body, they are more likely to remain peaceful at the sight of officers.
  • Activism in colleges should be encouraged by allowing new organizations to be created.
  • In addition, campuses themselves should publicly condemn or support various world events based on the context of those events.


Working with off-Campus groups 

Colleges could also work with local groups, allowing them to extend their work to on-campus with students. For example, many LGBTQ+ organizations are created in the community but should be allowed to reach out to similar bodies on college grounds, as they often share similar goals.

These guidelines for student protesting should be available for students to review as necessary. Plus, encouraging ethical protesting on and off campus can teach students how to protest effectively without becoming violent or damaging.

Rising trend

Activism is a popular rising trend among student bodies. This activism has positive benefits for both campuses and students alike. By allowing students the freedom to protest without punishment, hosting advocacy clubs, educating campus police, and providing students with the necessary guidelines to protest peacefully and safely, colleges have the power to facilitate positive change for the world around them using the power of the students they host.

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