Timing, forethought and an issue are required for effective protesting

Amy Eggert

Amy Eggert

Last Wednesday marked the start of what may very well be my last year at SDSU. With this knowledge in mind, I have been steadily compiling memories, reveling in what it means to be a Jackrabbit. I found it oddly fitting that the most vivid memory I have of my fourth first day of school involves being told I will be sentenced to eternal damnation unless I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. This bright spot of my day occurred in the few minutes it took me to walk from the Nursing, Family and Consumer Sciences and Arts and Science Building to the Union. Standing at the intersection of the sidewalks leading to NFA, Rotunda and the Union was a lone protester with a comically large sign. Shouting out promises of hellfire and brimstone unless Jesus provided a get-out-of-jail free card, this protester provided a stereotypical portrayal of protesters on the SDSU campus; the extremists who hoot and holler, thrusting their pamphlets, and their views, upon unsuspecting passer-bys.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some hot protesting action, but it has gotten a bit ridiculous. I understood the desire to publicly voice opinions during last year’s heated election season. I could even understand using the spirit of the times to prompt debate about related religious and social issues. That was a time when those issues were at the forefront. Change was possible and peoples’ ears and minds were open. However, as I walked to the Union that day, my mind was not on changing the world. It was on paying my tuition, buying books and grabbing some food before working. Was this protester simply hoping to trap incoming freshmen? Was he that concerned with saving souls that he patiently waited all summer for the greatest number of students to be on campus? Or maybe he’s just your run of the mill crazy person with an agenda?

The point of all this is simple. Protesting is meant as a means to voice one’s personal opinions on a matter; to illicit a change in the status quo. Like most things, when done too often, the power of the message is lost. Chances are high that no one was persuaded by this zealot with a sign. Instead of waiting for the opportunity to address an eager crowd, he forced his message to a preoccupied student body, more concerned about their classes than their religious choices.

I fully encourage people to voice their opinions. As future decision-makers, we need to be fully informed on all sides of an issue-good, bad and ugly. But I urge you, protest for a reason, don’t just protest for the sake of a protest. I may even join you.

#1.883004:2987100544.jpg:eggert,amy.jpg:Amy Eggert, Southern Minnesota: