Asking Why Colby Magazine Spring 2002


"I found I need to do both. If I just do the local helping somebody out, then I wonder when the madness is going to stop. I can feed this person today but I'm still going to feed them tomorrow unless we change the policy."

Changing the policy is what Colby activists are after, whether it be trade practices that allow exploitation of child laborers or arms deals that supply land mines that kill thousands of civilians.

Work at a soup kitchen?

Yes, they do, but they also ask how 120,000 people can starve to death every day in a world that has enough food to feed them three times over. "Community service recognizes a problem, but rarely the underlying cause," said Jessica Kellett '04, "whereas activism hopes to address the cause and the solution."

If that rubs some people the wrong way, so be it, Colby activists say. Said Kellett: "Activism has been known to look outside the box, which may frighten Colby and its mainstream image."

While activists tackle global issues, there is also a need, as in community service, to address local problems. Kellett says Colby students should be more involved in issues that shape the economy and culture of Central Maine.

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Colby students pause after being tear-gassed in Quebec City during protests at a trade summit last year.



      © Colby College   Colby Magazine Spring 2002