Luther College Chips

Students must use their platforms for change

Chips editorial staff

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At the beginning of the year, we at Chips mounted a cover from the Vol. 86, No. 20 edition of the paper (published in 1969) in our office. The cover is all black with a quote from James Baldwin in the center. It reads:

“A country is only as good . . . a country is only as strong as the people who make it up and the country turns into what the people want it to become. Now, this country is going to be transformed. It will not be transformed by an act of God, but by all of us, by you and me. I don’t believe any longer that we can afford to say that it is entirely out of our hands. We made the world we’re living in and we have to make it over.”

In the wake of recent hate incidents on our campus, we as an editorial staff are asking ourselves these questions. What does it mean for the world to be in our hands? What does it mean to make it over?

In the context of Luther, we believe this means that student-led organizations, like Chips, must take charge. But we recognize that this is difficult. Not just because it takes effort, but because if the problem is truly ours to fix then that means it always has been.

The implication then becomes that we, in some form or another, have been complicit. This is not an easy pill to swallow and many of us resist it. But no more.

The sit-in which occurred on Friday is a powerful example of what can go right when students realize that simple declarations of solidarity are not enough. Students must be the change.

We must, to use Baldwin’s words, “make it over.” There is only so much the administration can do. We are only here for four or five years as students, sometimes fewer, and these issues are not solvable in only a few years.

However, the institutions which we, as students, are a part of are able to be changed. Chips has been a presence at Luther since the 19th century. Therefore, we as an editorial staff stand with students who are taking steps to orient their platforms in the directions of significant social change.

We have multiple members on staff who are personally and deeply affected by these events and many more who are affected by proxy. So, yes, we stand against these incidents. We also stand for students making a change.

To quote the lyrics of the refrain sang outside of the Center for Faith in Life during the vigil last Thursday, “We are the people at the full height of our power. This is the place and now is the hour.” Use your platforms while you still have them. Use this power. Because, as students, it is uniquely ours.

Signed,

Chips editorial staff

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