Letters to the Editor

Our Reader: Syracuse University students live in a ‘bubble’ they need to get out of

Some random facts. Syracuse is the 29th poorest city in the country. It is so poor in fact, that 1 of every 2 children lives below the poverty line. I found this information out by typing the word Syracuse into Google. I know — real hard research. So answer this question for me, what percentage of Syracuse University students are aware — or to be frank, give a damn — about the problems going on in the local community? My answer would be a smaller percentage than those who care about whether or not Drew Taggart of Chainsmokers fame will accept their follow request on Instagram. This is because here at Syracuse University we live in “the bubble.”

Whether it be school work, internship searches, finding an outlet in Bird or discovering when Chucks’ last night really is, Syracuse students are so involved in their own lives that they care little about the outside community. I do not think it is crazy to say that a good amount of Syracuse students will not explore much of the Syracuse area except for the occasional trip to Destiny USA, Tully’s for chicken tenders, or Benjamin’s on Franklin for the occasional sorority formal. Now most people might not find this to be a problem. They might think “we chose Syracuse University, not Syracuse the city.” I think that mindset is extremely flawed. We are the heart and soul of this city. School-aged kids look at SU students like we are rock stars — kids at a district that only graduates 60 percent of its students, which is 27 percent less than the state average. Syracuse also happens to be one of the largest refugee cities in the country.

In Grant Middle School, which in 2014 was ranked one of the worst schools in the state, 20 percent of the students come from refugee backgrounds. We were so quick to protest SU not being a “sanctuary campus,” but what are we really doing to support those with refugee status? Instead of volunteering at the North Side Learning Center, or becoming M.E.S.H mentors, we share Facebook articles because it is easier.

It is not enough to just exist in the city. We need to do more. We need to be better. Care about our city, our community like it’s a March Madness bracket. These aren’t townies. They are human beings just like you and me. Just something to think about. Now go back to planning your outfit for the next darty.

Obi Afriyie                                       

Syracuse University Class of 2018

Cultural foundations of education and history dual major

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