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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

You say you want a revolution?

Published: September 26, 2008
Section: Opinions

As “Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper,” The Hoot prides itself on serving not only as a source of on-campus news and features, but also as a forum where students can freely express their thoughts and views on everything from hooking up to the current political race to arguments against diversity. Our Impressions section has greatly expanded in the last few semesters, and is constantly growing more diverse to represent an ever-widening array of opinions. Some of these articles draw praise, some drop jaws, and this week one even elicited a three-page long response from a farmer in California discussing teenage pregnancy. No matter what the reaction, the important point is that these columns spark dialogue and debate. They make us think. They support or challenge some of our most cherished views on topics that matter to us. Israel and Palestine. The 2008 Election. Environmental sustainability. Oral sex. If it’s relevant to Brandeis students, it’s likely to be represented in this paper. And if it isn’t, anyone is more than welcome to submit an article and share his or her voice.

With that in mind, we present you with a special section in this week’s issue compiled by Pissed Off Youth of America (P.O.Y.A.), a new non-partisan movement promoting social change through free speech. P.O.Y.A. holds that “[t]he revolution begins when each individual realizes that he or she has a voice and the power to bring about transformation in this country.” This concept hearkens back to the very basis of The Hoot’s creation: to create a space where everyone’s voice could be heard, even if those voices are controversial, profane, or incendiary. If you grab a magnifying glass and read The Hoot’s masthead located directly above this article, you’ll find quote that reads, “To acquire wisdom, one must observe.” P.O.Y.A. asks young people to observe, but also takes it one step further, encouraging them to channel their anger into written words or art pieces that will pierce fellow students and catalyze social and political transformation.

Four pages of this newspaper are devoted entirely to a manifesto project that P.O.Y.A. proposed to students. The instructions were simple: Create a manifesto about anything that makes you angry and the change you want to see in the country, using the medium of your choice. The results were astounding, producing provocative pieces born from raw passion ranging from an eloquent rant about sexual objectification to a poem on the white, liberal bias of social activism to an ink drawing which is accessible online. In publishing these manifestos, we ask that you read and react. Write your own manifesto and have it published here in The Hoot. Write us a Letter to the Editor about how this idea is completely bogus. Burn this newspaper and return it to our office. Run for political office. Do something.