“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” -Frederick Douglass
Today most of us will look around and may think about our current society while wondering why it is so messed up or why we are so blessed to be living in this country. Most folks who look at society from the first perspective usually put blame on the government. This is an accurate but an incomplete analysis of said malfunction because we forget about the concept known as power. Power to me is defined as the ability to create/enforce change, usually through violence. It comes to fruition in many forms institutionalized, community, economic, legal and endowed just to name a few. When we think about our government, that is institutionalized power and it is then comprised of economic and legal power. So what then is Student Power with that being said?
Education is a right
“Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves – and be free.” – Cesar Chavez
Students around the state, country and world are one big community, we are the future. Therefore we have that one commonality. Students everywhere make up the University through “body counts” but also financially (for the most part). Yet almost all academic decisions are made without the input of the students. So when we say “Student Power” it is a generalized term for where we are and where we hope to be. Now we hope that eventually that all students are unionized in order to become apart of the governing processes of how our universities are run. However, student power to me means shifting the paradigm of education as a privilege to a RIGHT therefore we take our universities back and make education free, like it is meant to be.
“Power never changed on its own you gotta’ make it” -Brother Ali.
Now what do we have to do to make education free? We the students must build community, because it is activating, rejuvenating and most importantly it is emPOWERing. Community, is the pillar for building power, because it is power in and of itself, but we also need collective love. Love is a stupid, selfish yet a beautiful and dreamy word. When people say “I love you” it is a big deal especially in intimate relationships but to me it is an even bigger deal when I can look into my comrades eye, without any fear, with all the trust and just say those three magic words. It freakin’ rocks. No kind of love has ever been built as well as maintained without trust, so trust and love are inextricable because without one another they cannot exist. And that is what community is built upon, love and trust, collectively. If we can’t trust each other than we can’t love each other, if we can’t love each other than we can’t build communities together and when there are no communities, we are rendered powerless and are left getting “F’ed in the A.”
“Hasta la Victoria Siempre” -Ernesto “Che” Guevara
Move over Huey and Stokely because there is a new power in town and it is here to stay.