As students what can we do?

By The Beacon | April 6, 2016 5:38pm

By Joseph Rojo |


Since I started here at UP there has been talk about: What can we, as students, do to improve UP?  Usually this talk ends with we should tell the administration to do X, Y, or Z or that the administration is working/will work on it. However, for me these answers aren’t right answers because as students we can be advocates and make differences for ourselves. I have learned this by watching and taking part in Active Minds.

Active Minds has done a lot to raise awareness around mental health and the stigmatization of mental illness. They have brought mental health to the forefront of UP. Not a week goes by where I don’t hear about or see something from Active Minds. They have done a lot for UP and for that I am grateful.

One thing they have done that I don’t think is as obvious to us is they have shown us how impactful each of us can be and how a group of students can make changes on campus. In the course of nearly a year, I have seen so many changes on campus ranging from the discussion on mental health, the perception of it on campus to the placement of magnets on every door in each dorm with contact info to get help.

Students, passionate students, who wanted to make a difference and decided to act on that passion, led these changes. This group of students took action and worked with administrators to make actions on the broad topic that is mental health and more importantly they worked for themselves.

From my experience here at UP, we get frustrated with things and make that frustration known to someone and then move on, we hope that someone else will address it or take care of it instead of taking action and helping ourselves.

First and foremost I want to again thank Active Minds for everything they have done and for the lessons they have taught us. Next, I encourage my fellow peers: We have the ability to change things, to make a difference. We just need to begin helping ourselves instead of always relying on others to help us. If we can’t begin to help ourselves how can we expect others to help us?

As students we can do so much, and we can improve and better our community!


Joseph Rojo is a junior biology major and can be reached at