Surely you’ve heard this one from your parents or a particular person of a particular age. “This younger generation, they’re leading us to hell in a handbasket,” or, “I’m glad I won’t be around to see you kids screw everything up.”
As the current state of our government and economy can attest, they haven’t done a bang-up job themselves. But instead of harping on the negative, lets focus on the positive.
Students all over this campus and all over the world, have really stepped up and become an agent of change in their communities. Whether it’s the all-new Dance Marathon (see page 3) or one of the dozens of outreach programs by the Butler Center for Volunteer Service & Leadership Development, the perception of the apathetic college student has gone by the wayside, replaced with a socially aware citizen of the globe. Think of 1960s activism without so much burning.
According to the Butler Center, 70% of students at the University of Miami participate in at least one Butler-sponsored volunteer activity each year. That’s a staggering figure. Approximately 7,000 people working to better the community around them is incredibly impressive.
So what should be said about this? Two things. First, to those of a different generation, who remember student takeovers of campus buildings and violent protests of inequity in the world: we’re in on the act too. Sure, maybe we don’t have the radical streak that you had, but it’s fair to say our method will probably work out in the long run. Just look at yourselves: the hippies of the ’60s became the yuppies of the ’80s.
Second, to those students participating in volunteerism today: branch out. If you have a friend not helping out, recruit them. Find them a cause they can go out for. From voter registration to Habitat for Humanity, there are a plethora of causes someone can get roused up for. And before you look down too much on those of a different generation, remember: they could be funding your next volunteer project.