We have proven that change is possible

I try to avoid using the word “mistake” when reflecting on past actions, because I like to think of such actions as learning experiences.

However, hindsight is 20/20, and every so often there are actions that I would take back, if I could. I even find myself regretting some actions.

I don’t regret a single thing I did on behalf of the striking janitors at the University of Miami. I don’t regret the tent city, I don’t regret the sit-in, I don’t regret the disruption.

I don’t regret it for one simple reason: We have a cultural tendency to filter – a student hands out a flier in the breezeway, the news reports that someone was shot and killed, a janitor pushes a bright yellow cart down a hall. and no one notices. We are such filterers that we barely process anything anymore.

This tendency, coupled with the overwhelming apathy of people in Miami, has made it virtually impossible to affect change – until now. I will always be someone who believes in the power of education and information. I would love to live in a world where people pay attention the plight of others, or where people pay attention period.

Now that the Miami community has seen the commitment to change that exists here, extreme tactics will no longer be necessary to affect change. Now that people are aware of what’s going on, hopefully information will be enough to affect change. Perhaps the student body will pay attention to the plight of the people right here in Miami: scandals about affordable housing, the distribution of wealth, discrimination against immigrants, racism/ethnic segregation, etc.

I know that my hope is stubborn, and at times it may seem naive. However, three years ago, I was told that I could not find activists at the University of Miami, and that I was only one person and therefore could not affect change. This was the overwhelming mindset of the student population at UM, and over the course of our campaign, I learned that the administration shares that mindset.

I’m happy to report that I found activists, and despite our small number, we affected change. I hope I have changed (or at least shaken) the mindset of the student population, and I hope to continue to convince them that change is possible. Given the latent talent I’ve discovered within the student population already, I know that this student body can – and will do wonders, when they start believing that real change is possible.

Current events, market trends, Generation Y consumer tendencies, technology (in other words, the Internet)…they all indicate that real change is possible. Watch out, status quo.

Bethany Quinn is a senior majoring in Latin American Studies and Photography. She can be contacted at b.quinn2@umiami.edu

September 5, 2006


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

The University of Miami has a starting quarterback. On Tuesday, 11 days before the 2017 home opener, ...

Mark Richt, pleased and seemingly confident about his selection of redshirt junior Malik Rosier as t ...

Once known as ‘Quarterback U,’ the Miami Hurricanes have a spotty record of producing top signal cal ...

View photos from the Miami Hurricanes' football practice on Tues., Aug. 22, 2017 … Click to Con ...

Duke Johnson, the all-time leading rusher in Miami Hurricanes history, was one of a dozen members of ...

Students and faculty gathered at the Rock to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse. ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

The University of Miami has embarked on an ambitious 10-year housing plan that will transform the st ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.