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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) throws a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series semifinal at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 19, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Aggies defeat Gators 6-0 to advance to first College World Series finals
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There’s always a first for everything.  For the first time in program history, Texas A&M baseball is headed to the Men’s College...

Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
June 18, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Enjoying the Destination
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

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My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Online activism should only be the first step

“#YesAllWomen because women are shamed for breast feeding in public when the media idolizes Victoria’s Secret and Carl’s Jr. ads.”
Can you believe it was that easy to end sexism in America? As simple as a quick, 140-character tweet with the trending hashtag included. If only women before me could have had Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 
I’m sure all of our #OscarsSoWhite tweets will lead to a more racially diverse nomination list for next year’s Oscars. 
And Kony 2012 was a widespread success. I mean, sure, he’s still at large but I did my part. I retweeted the video. I wrote a heartfelt Facebook post lamenting the awful fate of the victims of his crimes. 
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Sexism is still a real problem. The film industry has made little effort to diversify casts ­— for example, Disney just cast Scarlett Johansson to play Mulan in the live action adaptation. Kony is still at large a decade after his warrant for arrest was issued and 3 years after the famous Kony 2012 campaign. 
These campaigns do a great job of raising awareness. But there are too many problems associated with them for it to be considered an effective means of bringing about change. 
For example, #BringBackOurGirls was a top trending hashtag of 2014, with over 1 million tweets sent out within three weeks of the abduction of 276 Nigerian school girls. The hashtag was wildly popular but many failed to realize the case was not an isolated incident. Over a year after the kidnappings, most of the girls are still in captivity and working as sex slaves. What good did your tweet do for them in the end? 
A campaign that just raises awareness is a failed campaign. Kony 2012 is passed around like a joke now. It’s not enough to simply be socially active online. There needs to be further contributions.
An example of an online campaign that actually produced tangible results is the #IceBucketChallenge. Within six weeks of the challenge really taking off, 2.5 million people had donated $115 million dollars to the ALS Association. When a campaign has ways for someone to help, the results can be amazing. But the #IceBucketChallenge is in the minority of viral campaigns, not the majority.
Even the successful campaigns have one glaring problem. They all have a shelf life.
When’s the last time you saw one of your friends dumping ice-cold water on their heads?
When’s the last time you actually saw #YesAllWomen on your dashboard?
Even #IStandWithAhmed, the trending hashtag with an important message, fighting Islamphobia — that went viral last week — has decreased significantly in prevalence. At its height, the hashtag was tweeted 2.1 thousand times per minute on Wednesday morning. Today, the hashtag is no longer trending on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. 
I don’t want to discount the importance of raising awareness for these issues that plague our society today. But awareness should only be the first step. It’s one thing to know sexism is an issue affecting millions of people globally today. It’s another thing entirely to speak up the next time one of your friends is making a sexist comment.
Raising awareness is important. Being socially aware is important. But it’s not enough.
Sam King is a communication sophomore and news editor for The Battalion.

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