For many Rice students, the Women’s Marches were the first time they were involved in such broad-scale, politically minded activism that took place outside of the voting booth (see p. 1). While some critics may argue that the march does not represent meaningful change, the Thresher believes the demonstrations that occurred across the country were a crucial first step in showing solidarity and emboldening those who are angry, upset or disillusioned to effect long-term change.

We especially hope that this momentum continues within the Rice community. The female college presidents’ initiative in launching the Rice for Women campaign and organizing events in the coming months represents admirable strides toward increasing greater engagement. Centered around the notion that women’s rights are human rights, these forms of activism should not be exclusive to a single political party or ideology. The words and actions of President Trump with respect to women and minorities has further normalized violent rhetoric against these groups. Regardless of political affiliation, such discourse and behavior ought to stand as a universal affront to basic human decency.

If you attended the march, carry on the momentum and stay active in your community; do not let your first experience with activism be your last. And if you did not attend the march, it’s never too late to get started. For the many students who were hoping for an alternate outcome to the election, it is easy to become jaded and disengaged. However, as many brace for what they fear will be a bleak four years, Rice students have a responsibility to engage with and serve the community beyond the hedges.