On Monday, February 18, a note appeared on the flat-screen television that sits at the landing of the steps in Walton. The message asked that the unfunctioning television be used for a better purpose or sold, with the proceeds going to a better cause. It specifically suggested using the money to provide Africans with clean water. The note, signed by senior Elliott Simko, was promptly removed from the television screen by the student development office, but not before many students had already read it.
“To whoever it may concern,
I respectfully request that this device be used to provide some service for Eastern students, or that it be sold, the money given to a cause where it will not be wasted as it is now. One dollar can provide one African clean water for a year; how many hundreds could be saved if the money now being wasted on this screen were put to good use? I do not doubt that this screen could provide Eastern students with a service, especially with its prime location here on the mantel in Walton. It is precisely because of this prime location that Eastern needs to urgently act to remedy the situation. How many students walk by this screen every day and see how the precious money spent on it is being wasted? What statement does that make about an institution that “promotes” faith, reason and JUSTICE.
Respectfully Yours,Elliott Simko”
In speaking with the Waltonian after the event, Simko expressed that his intentions were not to admonish the administration in any way but rather to act in a manner which he believes students are encouraged to at Eastern.
Simko has a point to make, and it’s one of activisim. While none of us are perfect, and neither are our actions, it’s important that we hold each other accountable. If we see something that could be done better, we should voice our opinions about it.
As people in general, there are many things we could be doing better. Activism means identifying our concerns and personally taking action to see that things are changed.
“There’s a paralysis that we sometimes find ourselves in where we just sit so that we don’t cause any harm or get anybody riled up,” Simko said.
Mahatma Gandhi, one of the great peacemakers and activists of the 20th century, once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Just as we are called to address social injustices in the world, so we are called to care about seemingly minor things like the purchase of a big screen television.
Individually, each student should be called to be an activist. That, of course, is putting faith, reason and justice into action.
“Where else [than Eastern] am I going to be encouraged to be active?” Simko asked.
Inquiring Minds is the collective opinion of the editorial staff and not necessarily representative of the entire staff. It is written by the editor-in-chief and the managing editor.