Students find their voices through participation in student-led organizations


Hayley Morgan

One of the most influential aspects of the student generation is the power they possess to make a difference in the future of our society. South’s student led action groups have recently come together to work against many urgent issues that have risen within today’s society. As sophomore Annabelle Niblett said regarding South’s recent walkouts, “these acts influence the student body hopefully by making our futures easier for us because most of us can’t vote yet or run for office so protests are the best way to have our voices heard within democracy.”

Hayley Morgan, Staff Writer

One of our generation’s greatest strengths is having the power to stand up for what we want in our future. South students often take initiative in standing up against issues that they care by organizing protests and walkouts. Many people have seemed to ask, why have walkouts and protests been such an important part of South’s culture?

One of South’s strengths as a school is the initiative that the student body often takes. There are many student run organizations that are working to making a big impacts on the community and world. Specifically, there are many members of the US Youth Climate Strike and MN Climate Strike at South. The goals of these student run groups are to spread awareness for climate change and provide a sense of student leadership for our generation.

These groups organize and participate in student run protests not only in our community but nationally. Sophomore Annabelle Niblett is a member of US Youth Climate Strike and MN Climate Strike, as well as Green Tigers, a student run group at South. “The groups I participate in are highly student run. US Youth Climate Strike, we have adults involved in some ways but the group is run entirely by students and it was started by students. It’s made to be a student action group because we’re the ones who are going to be affected by it in the future,” said Niblett. 

Throughout history, social movements have been run by students. Many people would say that protest is even more influential coming from students, because it’s the next generation of voters. “These acts influence the student body hopefully by making our futures easier for us because most of us can’t vote yet or run for office so protests are the best way to have our voices heard within democracy,” Niblett also said.

Elliott Labison-Brown, another student activist, also chooses to participate in many protests. “I think that [protesting] is better than doing nothing, even if it only makes a small difference,” said Labison-Brown. He isn’t involved in any of the leadership groups, but still takes interest in participating in walkouts to try and contribute to the community. 

One thing many people question is, do these protests actually make a difference in society? Are they really getting the government’s attention and influencing their decisions? In response, Niblett said, “I think that our local walkouts and protests definitely gain statewide attention because they are held at the capitol, and some of the US Climate Strike actions have proceeded to gain national attention.”

One of the most powerful aspects of these acts is the fact that they are solely student run. The current student generation has taken it upon themselves to stand up for their future, which is very influential and powerful in society. “I think it shows us that we have a voice, and we can make a difference with our voices,” said Labison-Brown.

Most people have noticed that walkouts and protests have been on the rise since Trump’s election. These protests have been for a broad range of issues from climate change to women’s rights, and much more in between. South specifically takes a big part in climate change protests, as it is a very relevant issue that has a communal effect on the school. “Local and global issues have definitely increased recently. Climate change is real and we need to do something about it,” said Labison-Brown.

Current day issues now require desperate attention in society, especially attention from students. “I think these acts have been on the rise due to an increase in urgency. Climate change is a very relevant and urgent issue that needs our attention. Also, a lot of Trump’s issues have become more urgent to act upon,” said Niblett.