"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Editorial: Youth activism remains important to our democracy

The emphasis on young generations bringing about social change is deeply embedded into the history of America. From the Civil Rights and Vietnam Anti-War Movements sparking infamous demonstrations on college campuses in the 1960s and 1970s to the more contemporary March For Our Lives movement that was largely directed by teens, young people have always been at the forefront of activism. 

In an interview with the Old Gold & Black this week, Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina underscored the importance of young voices in enacting social change. This becomes especially important as we enter an election year.

As decades pass, young people are becoming more politically active. The first member of Generation Z to hold congressional office, Rep. Maxwell Frost-D, was elected in 2022. Half of all youth (aged 18-29) voted in the 2020 presidential election, signaling an 11-point increase from the preceding election year (2016). 

Clearly, younger generations are recognizing the importance of using their voice in the political sphere. That being said, younger age groups have historically had, and still have, the lowest voter turnout rate of any age group. It is, and will continue to be, immeasurably important that young people participate in these democratic processes. With adults aged 18-24 representing 12% of the total United States population, our voices matter tremendously.

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Political and social activism is valued on college campuses across the nation, and our own should be no different. Wake Forest presents all students with a call to embody its motto “Pro Humanitate” — for humanity. This sentiment drives us to carry empathy and compassion for one another, on campus, in our hometowns and on the ballot.

Through voting, which is a founding principle of our democracy, and other avenues, such as utilizing your right to free speech and peaceful protest, you can begin to make a difference in your community. The way you choose to be politically active and engage with your civic duty is your own, it is deeply personal and can only be dictated by your beliefs. 

As college campuses across the nation become epicenters of political activism, students at Wake Forest should similarly feel empowered to use their voices for change. Regardless of how you choose to make your voice heard, this commitment to activism will pave the way for brighter future.  

The Old Gold & Black encourages all students to express their beliefs peacefully, as well as hold space for the beliefs of others. It is through this respectful dialogue that we, as the next generation of leaders, begin to make true, lasting change.

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