Wave of passion sweeps over campus, largest protest in 40 years


By Bunny Lebowski ‘72

Wearer of Many Hats

Students holds signs showing their passion for causes. [Graphic by Bunny Lebowski ‘72 ]
Students holds signs showing their passion for causes. [Graphic by Bunny Lebowski ‘72]
Wave of passion sweeps over campus, largest protest in forty years

Thousands of students stormed the quad last Friday to demand change. Any change.

The catalyst of this uncharacteristic enthusiasm was a study published in the Wall Street Journal showing a strong correlation between activism and lifetime earning potential.

“I just felt compelled to make a difference,” said Derek Bangdon’16, holding a picket sign in one hand and a petition in the other. Bangdon went on to explain that the study’s statistically significant r squared value made him want to become an activist.

Although the students were physically united on the campus quad, they disagreedon the ideologies being promoted. Present at the rally were students in protest of the pope, frackingand cats.Others voiced their support for clean coal, net neutrality and air conditioning as a human right.

President of the environmental group LEAP Ashley Verden‘15 offered an explanation for the inconsistency of causes represented.

“Many of [the Lafayette students] have never participated in a social movement before,” she said.

With more than 4,000 in attendance this was the largest rally at Lafayette College since the Vietnam War.

“I’m thrilled to see students demonstrating passion for these movements,” President of Amnesty International Joseph Droits ‘16 said.

For some Friday’s rally was just the beginning. A group of economic majors are planning several more rallies, die-ins and hunger strikes for the coming weeks.

The leader of this group, Adam Mandelson ‘16 said with a glint in his eye, “We are very excited to do even more.”

“We have calculated the ROI per movement to be roughly $3,250,” he added.

As is often the case with demonstrations, the rally was not seen positively by everyone. On Friday, Yik Yak was overcome by posts accusing the rallies of being “un-American.”

One post with 45 up-votes read, “America became the greatest country in the world through hard work, not yelling.”

Other posts expressed a sentiment that the rally was a general annoyance.For example, one post written under the alias “LateFor Class” read, “Honestly, can people protest somewhere that is not in my way.”

This rally may mark the beginning of Lafayette as a college that stands up for social causes. The administration also stated they hoped this rally helps Lafayette College replace Harvey Muddas the highest ranked on PayScale’s College ROI Report.