Be Bold, Stand Out, Beat Apathy

Reaching out to students about issues like problematic monetary policy and fiscal irresponsibility on a campus full of World of Warcraft playing, Star Trek quoting, career driven techies isn’t just hard; it’s nigh impossible.

Georgia Tech is a campus filled mostly with students who care about one thing only: engineering (or maybe computer science).  Their goal is to geek-out for 4 (or 5 or 6 or 7) years while they learn about engineering on one of the most advanced research institutes in the world.  The problem?  They couldn’t care less about politics or current affairs, and consequently, know very little.  Unless you want to talk about Apple vs. Samsung, opinions on this campus are few and far between.

I can’t walk up to your average student at Georgia Tech and have a conversation about drone strikes in Pakistan or Yemen.  I can’t ask them why the government continually battles to eradicate hemp from the country, even though it is virtually impossible to get high off of, and it has hundreds of fantastic and innovative uses.  I can’t ask them why, even though prices have been rising for the past year, the Federal Reserve has decided to pump $40 billion into the economy every month in order to, among other things, “put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates,” and why they think that creating more bubbles is going to solve any of our economic woes.  We at YAL@GT can’t reach techies like that. So what do we do?

Taped to a Tree

We taped me to a tree.

People that wouldn’t have noticed before couldn’t help but stop and ask why the hell I was taped to a tree, and, consequently, quality discussions were had about government regulation and the place it had in our economy, if any.  

The point is, people stopped, people stared, and people talked. Mission accomplished.  Like I said in the title, sometimes it takes some bold moves to get apathetic people to ask questions.  But it works, so don’t be afraid to throw yourself out there. Happy activism!

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