By Shifra Lindenberg, Social Media Advisor
YU does something we don’t like, students panic, students send in Confessions on Facebook, students see that they aren’t alone, students band together, create Change.org petitions, host a march, create memes, send out google forms, write articles, and change is made.
This is the cycle that every change on this campus goes through. Why is this important? Because this cycle is what gives us students power to implement change on campus. YU is constantly changing and it isn’t perfect. The administration has done a couple things this year that not all of us agreed on. These decisions, whether it was the decision to change the caf plan or to not give LGBTQ+ students an alliance club, sent students in a panic. We naturally get upset with these decisions because they negatively impact students. We, as students, don’t want to be negatively impacted, nor should we because at the end of the day, YU is a university, and a university is for the students. Just as you can’t make most of your customers angry, so too this institution needs to have our best interests in mind. When they don’t have our best interest in mind, we panic, as we should.
After we panic, we talk. We talk to our peers, our family, and sometimes our teachers. We talk to them about how this makes us upset and why these decisions aren’t fair.
From there, students will continue to speak to peers while also submitting to YU and Stern Confessions, a Facebook page I run that features anonymous student confessions regarding YU. Confessions are posted about important matters and students start to see that they aren’t alone. By constantly surrounding themselves with anonymous student input and their peers’ input, students start to realize that their opinions are common. This realization unifies us and empowers us to want change, and eventually make change.
Students then start taking initiative. Google forms are released to survey students, Change.org petitions are created and shared among and beyond the student body, town halls, marches, and other assemblies are coordinated, and even memes about the matter are posted on The Official YU Meme Group. With these initiatives, students imbue themselves with the problem at hand — to empower themselves and inspire others to want to take a stand.
Then, students write about the matter for the YU Observer and The Commentator, so that more students are reached and are emotionally triggered by the current events on campus. Students see the personal side of the struggle and eventually, so does YU. YU does eventually see our struggles with their decisions and they do see what we have done because of it. From there, change is made.
We, the students, are capable of making change. We especially have made countless changes this past year on campus. Personally, I feel that the YU and Stern Confessions page has become a crucial factor in our student body’s revolution cycle. With Confessions, we are able to unify quicker than ever over the matters that negatively affect us. By seeing what the Yeshiva University hive mind is thinking about important matters, we have access to what the student body feels about these matters, and from there we can execute a plan for change.
While YU and Stern Confessions isn’t the only thing that sparks change on campus, it has become a necessary factor. Without a public forum that any YU student can speak on with each other and come to the realization that we all feel the same way, we wouldn’t be able to implement change at the speed that it is implemented today. We need to talk to each other. We need Confessions. We need both the YU Observer and The Commentator because their pieces ignite the flames of change. Our caf plan wouldn’t have been changed without the articles that were written about it, along with the student initiative taken by Mili Chiznik and Akiva Poppers. Change requires passion, student initiative, conversations, articles, and even Confessions.
We are the students and we can implement change.