A Calling

A Calling …

     – by Simon Radford


It’s easy for students to think that essays should take up the vast majority of their time. Students, however, have always been at the focal point of radical, progressive change. The challenge of those who are interested in tackling the great moral problems that face us is trying to connect what people do in our day to day lives with the tragedies that happen in the other part of town, to people who look different from you or me, to what will happen to our grandchildren if we don’t take action, or to something that is happening on the other side of the world.


Take the genocide in Darfur. Like the vast majority of students, I was well versed in the facts of the Holocaust and other similar tragedies. I’d seen Hotel Rwanda and Schindler’s List. I’d read Samantha Power’s Pulitzer Prize winning book on Genocide. When I heard that 400,000 people had died in Darfur and 2 million – 2 million! – people had left their homes in a region in the Republic of Sudan, I started thinking of what I could do. I was at Brown University at graduate school, after Cambridge, at that time and joined their divestment campaign. Brown divested in 2006-07.


So, now Liberal Youth is running a campaign to help other universities divest from companies doing business with the genocidaires in Khartoum. Cambridge has recently joined in with an Ethical Divestment campaign as well, which I hope CSLD is playing a full part in, but Liberal Youth can always use your help and support to help build a functional, exciting youth wing to campaign on issues that matter to campuses and to the most vulnerable in our society. Do join the Liberal Youth forums, join the facebook groups and e-mail the executive to get involved and play your part. I might be biased but Cambridge has always been a little ahead of the curve on liberal campaigning: don’t forget that there are always others who could learn some of the lessons in running campaigns that we had to learn some time ago.


What better way to start than by helping other universities focus on those to whom we pledged ‘Never Again’?




The writer was at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge in the period 2000-2004, and is a former Chair of CSLD.


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