Martin Luther King Day, in the past, has been far from a celebration at Simpson. The college has spent time and money bringing speakers to campus each year with the hopes that students would embrace King’s teachings and the purpose of the holiday.
Many students have spoken out in favor of observing the holiday by canceling classes. While that may be a welcome break for students, it would likely create another excuse to go to the bar or head home for the weekend. The day would hardly be spent in observance of King’s memory.
The college has developed a new way to remember King and our roles in resolving social injustices. This new program is a contest with a prize of
$1,000 to the student organization with the best developed program and message. The money will be used to execute that program.
This new celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day puts into action the teachings of King and other civil rights leaders – action. Such a program empowers students to make a difference.
The challenge now is for students to take advantage of the opportunity before them. Social injustice is not only a racial issue. It exists in terms of religion, gender, sexual orientation and many other classifications. MLK Day is an opportunity to celebrate a leader, and to celebrate our individuality.
Students should jump at the opportunity to embrace our differences.
At Simpson, racial diversity is a struggling point. But the college has taken sizeable steps in working to improve that situation. It will get better, but not without student support. Do not complain about a lack of diversity when you are not willing to help make a difference.