College politics has remained an integral dimension of college life since the inception of a college education. Student activism has always been an effective medium to cause several economic, environmental, or social changes at micro and macro levelsCountrieses with notable histories associated with student activism and politic comprises France, Germany, Australia, China, Canada, the U.K., and the United States. Some popular student political parties from the U.K. include Cambridge Union, Oxford Union, Durham Union, etc.
Being a student leader is one of the most favorable actions an individual can take in an educational institution for society's benefit and personal development. This activity does not come with credits or grades but incorporates a lifelong experience for the students. Management, decision-making, team building, and excellent communication and oratory skills are some attributes the leaders gradually develop in their student leadership.
The national political parties also have a keen interest in the functioning of campus political activities. Various ways political parties are involved in college politics include:
- Making students work for election campaigns.
- Giving funds and material for student magazines and newspapers.
- Providing incentives to the students in return for their support.
Student activism is always a victim of criticism with attempts to ban politics on campus. Prohibition on politics in college is not a solution, as it's the energy and unity of youth in colleges that raise various issues relevant to this age group-
- We are keeping a check on tuition fee hikes by the universities.
- Ensuring quality education is provided to students without focus on commercialization by schools and universities.
- They were fighting for social issues like LGBT rights and gender equality.
- Several environmental campaigns with the support of students are another essential aspect where college politics play a crucial role.
Achievements by Student Activists in Recent Years
One of the most extreme examples of student activism was the termination of Michigan assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell due to his anti-gay methods against Chris Armstrong, gay student body president of the University of Michigan. Shirvell was actively trying to defame Armstrong using blogs and other mediums.
Another important example in this context is a campaign by two students, Aman Ali, and Bassam Tariq, across the U.S. to restore the importance of Islamic culture in the country when tensions related to the development of the Islamic Cultural Centre occurred in Manhattan. They visited around 30 mosques around the nation to carry the cause of spreading the positive word for Islam.
The company Nike announced to pay around 1.5 million dollars to support and train workers in Honduras after they lost their jobs. That is another notable victory that took place under the pressure of the student activists group. The U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) managed the first forum on environmental justice with the concrete support of dynamic environmentalists from the U.S. colleges, which shows how activism by the young crowd can bring positive changes.
Despite various success stories, the state still treats college politics negatively. It comprises dark sides, including using politics to mistreat students of several races, using violence to prove a point, and forcing institutions to implement illogical policies. The laws should be more detailed and clear to manage the over-radicalized form of politics rather than to control these issues, completely suppressing the voice of students as a whole.
Students, too, can help control the form of college politics. Instead of indulging in radical or violent states of politics, they should adopt more organic methods like:
- Organize college events related to social causes where one can reach the maximum audience. Also, one can have social occasions based on political fundamentals.
- Use various digital media channels, like Twitter, Instagram, blogs, etc., to expand the reach of your political activity without using anti-social ideas.
- All members and other campus students ensure their views hear and analyzed respectfully. That will not only develop the reputation as a socially benevolent party but will also help to understand the thoughts of the typical college crowd.
These activist movements and political drives by students not only attempt to improve students' lives but also prepare them for real-world political scenarios, thereby attempting to strengthen the social and political structure of the nation.