Something that runs rampant in our generation is “slacktivism.” Slacktivism, according to Urban Dictionary, is “the act of participating in obviously pointless activities as an expedient alternative to actually expending effort to fix a problem.” Students are quick to sign a petition or buy a t-shirt that supports an organization, movement or ideal they feel strongly about, but generally, the support ends there. While getting the message out into the world is crucial to affect any sort of change, it is really just the first step and not the end-all solution.
Currently, the Minnesota Marriage Amendment is garnering tons of slacktivism at Concordia. This November, Minnesota voters will have a chance to vote on an amendment to the State Constitution that would define marriage as solely between a man and a woman. I’ve witnessed broad opposition to this amendment from students on our campus. Members and allies of the LGBTQ community are outraged, because real people on our campus will be negatively impacted if this amendment passes. Students have “Vote No” t-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, and there are tons of posts on Facebook because there is genuine disagreement with the marriage amendment and what it could do. This is great for spreading the word and even facilitating brief conversation once in a while. This does not, however, win elections. T-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers can’t vote. People vote. And people will only be moved to vote through conversations with other people who will be or who know people who will be personally affected by the outcome of this election. This campaign needs fewer button-buyers and more folks willing to make phone calls and knock on doors. This same amendment has been proposed and adopted in thirty other states, and every single one of those states now has a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Minnesota has one chance to become the first state to vote for equality, and I know we can do it.
Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, join the SAGA Facebook group, come to SAGA meetings, or stop me on the sidewalk to ask questions or to let us know you’re interested in volunteering. Phone banks are every Tuesday evening, 6:30-9:30 p.m., and door knocks are Wednesdays at the same time. On Tuesdays, I meet with a group outside of Park Region and we walk to the Pride Collective together to start calling. We’ll also try to get phone banks set up at different times and there are always things you can do from the comfort of your own dorm. The training Minnesotans United for All Families provides is superb, and we’ll be sure to stop at Dairy Queen after every phone bank to relax and swap stories. If you can only come for a little while, please still come! Every little bit helps, and if every single supporter on campus put in 10 hours of volunteer work before the election, we could make history and be the first state in this country to vote against same-sex marriage discrimination.
Letter to the Editor submitted by Geneva Nemzek, SAGA Co-president.