University students across the country are increasingly seeing connections between the living conditions, ecological health and political systems of the world, and their own daily consumption habits, in particular their energy use, clothing, and food choices. In response to such recognition, motivated students have worked tirelessly to infuse their campuses with a sense of global partnership and urgency in changing their schools’ policies. Underscoring a societal need for academic institutions to pioneer and coordinate an ecological movement, these students from neighboring liberal arts colleges have either petitioned their colleges or rallied their student bodies to demand the integration of sustainable measures into their schools’ architecture, agriculture, food, and labor policies. In this effort, students from various strains of activism have found a common goal that unifies the religious groups’ concerns for human welfare, the co-op’s interest in organic and locally grown foods, and the musicians’ desires for a more aesthetic collegial atmosphere.
Such a level of commitment has mobilized otherwise untapped reservoirs of political pressure. Happily, this significant movement of youth power is not out of the reach of Lawrence, especially if guided by the proactive leadership of a student government candidate with a commitment to the civic education and engagement of her campus and community. Particularly important to the effective mobilization of a campus is the coalition-building abilities of its leadership within the school and its networking connections to similarly involved colleges in the region and those already connected with national movements for sustainability. The potential for turning our campus into the breeding grounds for experimental policies and initiatives is within our own hands. Exercise your right to vote. Vote change, vote Chatterji.