To the Editor:
Last Thursday’s debate between Bill Ayers and Dinesh D’Souza ’83 highlighted vastly different approaches to civic engagement (“D’Souza ’83 debates Ayers,” Jan. 31). Ayers focused his remarks on the power of community organizing while D’Souza chose to eschew this topic altogether.
I hope that the Dartmouth community heeds Ayers’s message. We need not be content with America and its greatness. Indeed, policymaking is often fraught with problems of accountability. When institutions are more responsive to special interests than to constituents, we sometimes end up with policies that go against our community’s core values. But power comes in two forms: organized people and organized money. If we organize ourselves around the issues that matter most to us — peace, human rights, environmental issues, LGBTQ rights and more — we can make concrete political change.
Ayers urged us to look at the world around us and imagine the world that should be. Our impact doesn’t have to end at Hanover’s municipal borders. As Dartmouth students, opportunities abound to influence the institutions that affect our lives every day — not only on campus, but also in Washington. The question is not whether we have power. Rather, it is how to organize ourselves so that our power manifests itself in real change. Indeed, the apathy that often pervades our campus is a self-fulfilling prophecy. As students connected with each other and invested in making the world better, there’s no easier time to organize our communities to take action.
Asher Mayerson ’15
To the Editor: