Op-Ed, Opinion

OP-ED: Stand up for Boston University constitutional reform

Op-Eds do not reflect the editorial opinion of The Daily Free Press. They are solely the opinion of the author.

If we have nothing else, we have our voices and our will to action. The power of the students, and thus, the power of the people, is an eternal and infinitely compelling force that shapes our world and allows us to enact the change we believe is vital. Though we may disagree as to the exact policies we think will accomplish our goals, we each know the value of our actions and the will and determination it takes to carry them out.

Each of us can — and do — use our voices and our actions to make sure we’re heard and acknowledged. Whether it is through a Facebook post, a tweet or face-to-face conversation, we believe in the power we have within ourselves and the power our friends and peers have to mold our environment in ways we see fit. After all, a founding principle of the democratic ideals many of us hold in high regard is the collective and equal power we all share in making sure our society is a reflection of the best of us.

As students, we are not exempt from this duty and from this right. We, too, must remember our responsibility and our capability to effect change. One such platform that allows us to share in this dynamic is in the principle of a direct democracy. In a direct democracy, we alone are responsible for making the decisions that will impact us, we alone must be able to fully understand and take into account the ramifications that our policies bring about. No issue is too small or too large for a directly democratic body. It may be that not all of us hold the same interests, but whether we like it or not, we are all bound here, together, in this university, and in the end, everything affects all of us, whether directly or indirectly. Instead of a representative body, it is the individual voice that holds the power and the sway and the ability to empower its peers. It is when we are united that we are able to speak truth to power.

Alone, we may protest tuition hikes or unaffordable housing, but together, we are able to say, “enough.” Together, 16,000 of us are able to say, “No more. We demand to know where our dollars are going.” You and I deserve this kind of collective power. We are capable and powerful citizens in our own right, but together, we are unstoppable.

Please join us at the final Constitution Reform Committee meeting on Monday, Feb. 29, at 9 p.m. in Photonics Room 205 to make your voice heard and to truly see what we, together, can accomplish.

“The good things that have been done, the reforms that have been made, the wars that have been stopped, the women’s rights that have been won, the racism that has been partly extirpated in society, all of that was not done by government edict, was not done by the three branches of government. It was not done by that structure which we learn about in junior high school, which they say is democracy. It was all done by citizens’ movements. And keep in mind that all great movements in the past have risen from small movements, from tiny clusters of people who came together here and there. When a movement is strong enough it doesn’t matter who is in the White House; what really matters is what people do, and what people say, and what people demand.”

-Howard Zinn, Boston University professor


Marwa Sayed, msayed@bu.edu

former Vice President of Internal Affairs

Boston University Students Against Silence

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