Editor, Daily Nexus,

On Thursday afternoon, a protest rally is scheduled on campus in response to the war in Iraq. Students are urged to skip class and boycott work in order to slam President Bush and his foreign policy in the Middle East. There is, however, an outstanding disparity of purpose that is being overlooked.

In the ’50s and ’60s, one would miss classes in response to the lack of racial integration on campuses nationwide. In the ’70s and ’80s, one could leave work if a business refused to engage in practices supporting affirmative action or gender equality in employment. The action of protest is correlated with the subject of interest and this is how change is made. I believe in protest and I understand that mobilizing the mass of apathetic youth in American society is a difficult and noble challenge. The problem lies in the lack of connection between wanting to mobilize action and skipping work or class.

How is one supposed to engage in intelligent discourse with peers and teachers about the important issues of our time when they devalue an education by skipping class? By disrupting the economic stability of a business by calling in sick to work, how is one supposed to raise money that could be used to raise awareness about Darfur, AIDS or global warming?

Instead of walking out of a class, pressure your professors to allow for discussion during class time. Instead of missing work, use the money raised from your tips or your recently escalated minimum wage to start a college fund for the children of a fallen soldier. Local businesses are much more willing to donate profits or support charity events than they are to simply shut their doors.

Go protest, wave a sign or make a shirt – but do this between classes and before work. We can mobilize the youth into action and take a stand on the issues that affect our nation by showing that we are an intelligent, hard-working and committed force. We cannot capitalize on the potential our generation holds by misdirecting our energies.