Walking out of class has not always been considered an effective way to express a political position. Indeed, we at the Maroon recently critiqued this form of protest as misdirected. We noted that professors who planned to cancel their classes unfairly imposed their political beliefs upon students who simply wanted to learn or those that did not share their beliefs.
Regardless of the theoretical qualms we have with the walkout, we view the associated antiwar teach-in as a spirited success. It proved to be both a viable educational experience and a community-affirming strike against indifference. Rockefeller Chapel, filled to capacity with individuals concerned about a common issue, provided a sense of community that is often lacking at the University, all the while combating the apathy that can pervade campus life. All of the speakers, along with their audience, expressed pride and encouragement at the sight of nearly 1,000 people motivated to act upon their feelings about the current political situation.
Most importantly, though, the teach-in was what it intended to be--educational. Speakers regarded the rally as an opportunity not to preach to the converted but to contribute articulate ideas to the debate, and audience members received their words as such. The Hyde Park community demonstrated an ability to grapple with contentious issues in a manner that is both motivated and thoughtful, true to the ideals of its University.