Forum

Activists should be respectful of university members

Activists protesting organ harvesting in China, as well as activists from the Human Rights Campaign, have begun regularly appearing on campus this past week.

In particular, the issue of alleged organ harvesting in China is both incredibly important to discuss and deeply complex.

However, perhaps the methods activists are employing to bring attention to this issue could be re-evaluated.

One of the activists’ most common locations is the main entrance to campus — the first step on the stairs facing Forbes Avenue. This position requires most students to pass them on the way to class.

While this minor inconvenience is not a huge issue, it discourages students from being receptive or active listeners. If a student is running late to class, stopping to talk to a person with a flyer can seem trivial and irrelevant.

The other major problem with the activists’ campaign is the actual content of their flyers. The content borders on sensationalism in its attempt to raise awareness. For example, the front page of the organ harvesting protesters’ handout depicts a little girl in the rain holding a sign that reads “Killed for their belief.”

Furthermore, the content of the flyer — specifically the explanation of Falun Gong — serves as an attempt to sway religious beliefs.

Page six of the packet has an in-depth description of the faith, as well as several charts depicting health benefits for practitioners, as “many people just like you take up the practice of Falun Gong and experience health benefits.” This attempt at conversion is so obviously partisan that it detracts from the overall issue at hand.

Public activism always has its issues — people are often too busy to connect with activists, even for extremely important causes. Because of these difficulties, organizations choosing to promote their causes on campus must strike a balance between enthusiasm for their cause and respect for the busy schedules and various beliefs of students who pass them on their way to classes.