By Khadija Hassan, student organizer at Evergreen State College
Wednesday was the most perfect sunny day, and besides the surprise of a very happy sun late into September, I had the good fortune of spending it on campus at the Student Activities Fair. There were tables in Red Square, in the middle of campus, set in an L-shape so that students could peruse the ever abundant and unique clubs that Evergreen has to offer. The NARAL Ninjas table was set across from the on campus Circus group which hula-hopped, juggled, and danced the entire time and next to the Live Action Role Playing (LARPing) Club who held battles that even the Gods would tremble at the thought of interfering! Our gloriously glittered sign was sure to attract the right kind of awesome and it truly did. The table was set with information about Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs), buttons, stickers, pens, and of course the interest sheet as well as voter registration forms. I stood behind our table and took in all of the majesty while waving my hand held American flag of solidarity! A few students with excellent style walked by and I called out to them, “Are you ready to fight for reproductive rights in the United States of AMERICAAAAA!!” I continued to let the flag billow in the wind. The answer was yes.
Students began to gather around and compliment the gloriously glittered sign and ask perceptive questions about the new group forming on campus. Many of them were well informed, which was not surprising because they are beings of awesome. The questions that were asked, were important questions that made me proud to attend Evergreen and proud of my generation. They were questions like “I have a CPC in my town. How do we ensure that woman are not given false information?” or “What are your feelings on the comments made towards Sandra Fluke?” My heart was fluttering with excitement and joy. An hour into the event, there were 15 people signed down and 7 of which were excited about the prospect of volunteering! What millennial gap do you speak of? The generation of today’s time is well informed, well involved, and willing to give their time to their causes.
The feelings from the first hour gave me a joy that I rode out for the next two. I took a short break from my table to get popcorn and cotton candy (an activist’s gotta eat!). My new friends from the LARPing group watched my table as I also pursued around the L set up and made my way to the goodies. As I did, I saw many students registering others to vote and heard many passionate conversations about food policy, local politics, indigenous culture preservation, the origin of privilege and how it still affects us today, and many more. There are many times when I wonder how we will fix all of the problems left to us, and this simple walk answered my question. This is one way you do it. It’s by one person at a time with all of the passion in the universe fighting diligently to ensure that the world becomes a little more conscious every day.
I’m sure you saw this coming but this story does end the same most fairy tales do. By the end of the day the NARAL Ninjas were 22 people deep and 13 of whom are excited and ready to volunteer. We also registered two people to vote. That happened in 3 hours! The sun was bright, the cotton candy was delicious, and we continue to live happily ever after.
And these are the buttons I made (suggested donation of $1,000,000 a piece!):