Complacency will solve nothing

Lucy Berry Executive Editor

Each week, as I am perusing Twitter to look for the “Tweets of the Week” featured on the last page of The Flor-Ala, I see endless complaints from students about issues relating to the UNA campus.

Many of the tweets are funny, and most students who have spent time on this campus can relate to them. That’s why I think they’re so popular—and why students boast they are now “famous” after being featured in this section of the paper.

Special Twitter accounts have popped up on the social media site during the last few months—including @UNAProblems and @UNAprobz. I think it’s great that students have a place to go where they can relate to others and talk about problems they experience at UNA, but it’s also disappointing to see endless ranting about issues with no action taken from students.

Like many students who attend UNA, I love this university and am thankful each day that I chose to go here. I have deep pride in my school and the colors purple and gold. I’ve made wonderful connections with people on this campus and am grateful for every experience I’ve had.

But as I reach my final weeks on this campus before graduation, I’m frustrated that some students are complacent and inactive when it comes to resolving the issues they seem so passionate about on Twitter and Facebook. Is it because they feel there is no hope for a solution, or are they simply too apathetic to try?

Why is it so much easier for students to sound off in front of their computer screens about what irks them than to simply show up at the right person’s office, send a direct email or make a phone call? I’m afraid that society is moving too quickly in this direction and will hurt as a result of such cowardice.

The Flor-Ala is trying something for the first time in conjunction with the Student Government Association. We are hosting an SGA presidential debate March 8 at 7 p.m. in Stevens Hall auditorium—where candidates William Nash and William Riley will have the opportunity to square off and discuss the issues their fellow students care about.

This event is the perfect opportunity for students to ask questions of their candidates and hear what both candidates have to say about the issues that affect everyone on this campus.

Historically, SGA elections have resulted in a low voter turnout, but this is an event that will give students the chance to get to know who will be representing them in the coming year.

If the debate educates at least one person in a way they weren’t educated before in order to make a more informed vote during the SGA elections March 12 to 14, then I feel the event will be successful.

I encourage students to take the advice of Elie Wiesel, author of the award-winning book “Night.”

“We must always take sides,” he said. “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Inactivity and lack of information only damage society—and even though UNA is a microcosm of the world around us, the decisions we make today will have an enormous impact on the futures of students who will be in our shoes in the years to come.

To contact Lucy, call 256-765-4364 or you can follow her on Twitter at @lsberry1.