Project Title: Students and Civic Engagement at OWU
Students: Laura Benson ’18, Jude Fahoum ’17, Caitlin Maggio ’17, Kelsey Morrison ’17, and Solomon Shepherd ’17
Mentor: Dr. Paul Dean
Historically college students have had a strong role in social activism across the country; whether they were the organizers or recruited or simply caught wind of the movement and join the efforts. It has been argued that many of the social movements that followed the civil rights movement did so because a sense of empowerment and camaraderie overwhelmed that generation of young people and not being involved simply wasn’t the norm. That generation consisted of incredible risk-takers; many postponed their educations, building a family, and sacrificed financial security to become more involved. This project was inspired by a curiosity and frustration with today’s college students, where are the activists and how has the mindset changed? This project has surveyed around 150 Ohio Wesleyan University students to find where our students are involved, if at all. The goal of this project is to get a clear understanding of how our students spend their time, what are they passionate about, and over all who is involved and what has pushed them there. Encouraging positive change is a key aspect of being an OWU student, with that being said why hasn’t there been a stronger activist minded presence on our campus? What is holding this generation back from fighting rather than theorizing?