Will’s Worried Words: Wake up, Millennials. The dream is dying

William Herbe

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At one of last month’s Presidents Town Hall Meetings an audience member directed a question at CSUN President Jolene Koester. The man asked what more can students do to stop education’s disintegration. She answered back, “Maybe you should ask yourself that.”

Koester deflected the few hard lining questions that were asked by a meager 25 students and 100 empty chairs.

This was pathetic, but I wasn’t surprised at all. With more than 30,000 students at CSUN, 25 was a few more than I expected.

It seems the majority of college students are part of a lifeless generation. We sit by idly and expect things to be fixed for us while the leaders, officials and authority figures of today are steering us into a dead-end future.

Do you think it’s going to be cool to tell your kids, “Yeah, I was part of the disinterested, immobile generation.” That’s embarrassing to even think about, but it is the reality of what is happening right now.

What’s the matter with being proud and capitalizing on our assets of youth, energy and the ability to mobilize? You know it’s OK to be upset and speak out against the things you think are unfair, unjust or wrong. But the technology age is turning us into a race of mutes. It’s not helping our reputation in the future as we will be seen as generation numb; passionless, content with average, easy, convenient, unoriginal or the forgotten.

That’s how I perceive our generation. Try and tell me one thing we’ve accomplished that has made history? One thing we can be proud of as a mobilizing generational unit?
OK, we were part of history helping to elect the first black man, President Barack Obama, into office. Let’s pencil that into the history books, celebrate this one milestone and quit? I don’t think so.

That should be the beginning of a generational legacy. Not one and done.

And don’t even start with “We are only 18 years old. What am I supposed to do? And I don’t have time.”

Hell yes you have time. You have furlough time, before class time, lunchtime and anytime.

Oh that’s right, we can gloat to our children that we were around for Facebook, Twitter, Perez Hilton and “Jersey Shore.” What a joke.

I bet there will be plenty of you who are already irked by these words, these rants and anger. So go on and write a comment, get pissed off for seven minutes and then you can go back to your Droid or iPhone.

But, please don’t get fired up at me for calling you out. Get fired up at Koester, Chancellor Charles B. Reed and our state’s elected officials. Get fired up at the collapsing great state of California. If not you might as well go and hide before you are swallowed up by the ocean of debt.

The dream is dying, people. Koester is asking us to reflect and ask ourselves what more we can do to stop this educational crisis. We don’t need to answer by calling on them and talking it out. That obviously was an epic fail.

We need to discuss this with our peers and act. Remember what mama always said, “Actions speak louder than words.”

Let’s act, or as the signs plastered all over campus have said, “Wake up” and if you so choose, “Walk out.”