Hellraisers: the Next Generation

From the eco-MBA to the Christian hipster, college activism is alive and kicking—but what today’s students care about might surprise you.


this spring, we posted a survey at motherjones.com to find out what our readers think about the state of student activism. How do today’s campus movers and shakers stack up to their peace-marching, draft-card-burning, hunger-striking forebears? Among the respondents, the consensus was clear: 85 percent said students today are less politically active than they were in the ’60s. So where have all the hellraisers gone? Many are online. Nearly half of current college students told us that the future of activism is digital. But nearly two-thirds also said the future is on campus. Flesh-and-blood action is far from an anachronism, but it’s becoming unthinkable without social networking tools. To see how this mix of the old and the new works, look no further than Obama’s young campaigners. They’ve got online organizing down to a science, but unlike the Deaniacs, they’ve mastered old-school skills like canvassing, door knocking, and phone banking. In November, we’ll see if they pass their biggest test: luring their peers to the polls.


NOW IS NO TIME TO QUIT

It's been a tough several weeks for those who care about the truth: Congress, the FBI, and the judiciary are seemingly more concerned with providing cover for a foregone conclusion than with uncovering facts.

But we also saw something incredibly powerful: that truth-tellers don't quit, and that speaking up is contagious. I hope you'll read why, even now, we believe the truth will prevail—and why we aren't giving up on our goal of raising $30,000 in new monthly donations this fall, even though there's a long way to go to get there. Please help close the gap with a tax-deductible donation today.