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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Importance of Being Involved : A Message from the Loyola Democrats


Throughout the course of the 2016 presidential election, politicians, activists, and citizens of all walks of life have tirelessly urged the American people to cast their votes come Election Day. Millennials are particularly encouraged to perform this civic duty—some of us for the first time ever—to help elect the next President of the United States. U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is an example of someone who worked to stress the importance of our individual vote for both ourselves and the nation as a whole.

The fact of the matter is that when we go to college, we enter a bubble. Sure, college is an environment in which we can be challenged to learn and try new things so that we can expand our horizons with new experiences that will help us grow as individuals.

However, it is so easy to get comfortable with the same group of peers and activities while staying on a familiar campus. We become consumed by the events local to our everyday lives, such as our busy schedules, the inner workings of our friend groups, or on-campus events. We are all guilty of getting excited about therapy dogs visiting the library and completely forgetting about the outside world.

For those of us who were at Loyola in the spring of 2015 during the riots and protests for Freddie Grey, we were told to stay inside and stay informed. For some of us, it was one of the first times that we consciously paid attention to the current events of Baltimore and how relevant our city is on a national scale. Acting locally and thinking globally are an important part of performing civic duty of being an involved and contributing member of society, and students here at Loyola are more than capable of doing that.

The Center for Community Service and Justice (CCSJ) gives students many opportunities to get involved with the Baltimore community and pursue their interests for a variety of social justice issues. CCSJ encourages students to follow their passions and become active citizens who think and act locally, nationally, and globally with dozens of service, volunteer, and immersion opportunities on and off-campus.

Specific experiences like Spring Break Outreach, a week-long service immersion program over spring break, places students in different locations in the United States to raise their awareness and passions for issue like civil rights and sustainability so that we may become more conscious and involved citizens.loyola-democrats

Furthermore, Loyola’s curriculum always strives to integrate current events with course material. This year, Messina has worked to encourage first-year students to consider the current political climate in light of their course pairings by sponsoring events that hold dialogue pertaining to the presidential election.

Finally, clubs at Loyola do everything they can to raise awareness for issues of which citizens should be aware. The Environmental Action club promotes No Impact Week every fall to highlight just how much impact every individual has on the environment and how we can each work to conserve our resources for its protection. Groups like Student Government Association (SGA), Take Back the Night, the Women’s Center, and more all promote events and conversations to raise awareness for sexual assault and offer opportunities for students to join and work to prevent it. In the event of national and local tragedies, Campus Ministry offers vigils and settings for prayer, reflection, and solidarity for the entire Loyola community.

As Co-President of the Loyola Democrats, I and all of our members urge all students and faculty to perform our civic duty by voting, holding dialogue about current events and issues, and getting involved with the election both in and out of Baltimore.

Moreover, by collaborating with other groups like the College Republicans, we strongly encourage everyone in the Loyola community to practice bipartisanship. Regardless of differing opinions, being open to other perspectives and working together to contribute to our society is something that every citizen should strive for in order to move forward as a nation.

Please do your civic duty and vote this Tuesday!

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The Importance of Being Involved : A Message from the Loyola Democrats