Thursday, 22 January 2009

Opinion: Bournemouth Uni & politics

Tuesday marked a landmark day in the history of the United States of America.

It's an over used expression of course, but in this case it does it justice.

Barack Obama's Presidential inauguration was a truly remarkable for all concerned and the vast majority of Americans, and indeed the world, believe this is the start of something truly special.

The aura around him is astounding to say the least.

But for me, this occasion's significance was brought home while walking through the Bournemouth University campus in order to catch a bus.

What I witnessed, literally stopped me in my tracks.

In the Atrium (a walkway to lecture theatres), a plasma screen (usually containing gratuitous advertising) was actually broadcasting Obama's inauguration and around it were 30 students, stood intently, hanging on his every word.

This is without a doubt, the first time in two and a half years since being at the Uni, I've felt that my peers have wholeheartedly engaged with politics and actually shown a genuine interest in what's happening in the political world around them.

Now this isn't to say I haven't met some top quality thinkers and really kind people while here. Not at all. This is isn't have a bash at BU time. In fact I've met them in abundance.

But there just seems to be more emphasis on what happened last night when everyone was hammered, or when we're next going out, rather than questions like "did you see the news this morning?"

Still if Obama's inauguration can force 30 students, from what I would argue is a largely politically apathetic Uni (controversial I know...) then surely there's hope for this generation and BU students yet.

But as the speech drew to a close and as I walked away, my illusions were quickly shattered when I overheard a bloke say "so why is this so important then?"

Some things never change...