On Wednesday, Nov. 16 Laurier’s Criminology Student Association (CSA) had the opportunity to host Ralph Nader, a well-known American consumer advocate, lawyer, political activist and author.
The CSA is a student-led association that organizes and hosts a diverse range of social and academic activities for the benefit and enjoyment of criminology students. They spent months planning and organizing this event for Laurier students and the general public. With the focus in mind of providing students the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom by one of North America’s finest activist, Ralph Nader was the academic the CSA was looking for.
Nader gave a strong lecture to students, sharing his past and introduction to political activism. Starting out in Connecticut, he began his career in activism with corporate manufacturing ownership.
“At the time, the chances of getting into a car accident were five times more likely [than they are today], and the problem would always be drawn back to the driver.”
Nader took it upon himself to being the problem of corporate ownership to the table, making it so the driver would always be to blame.
He told the audience of his personal background and how his parents brought him up to be the man he is today, focusing not only on himself, but the lives of millions across the nation and the globe. With this mindset, Nader was able to introduce many landmark American consumer protection legislation. Many of these legislations have affected Americans and Canadians alike.
Reform legislations put in place by Nader have changed the present for the good and continue to change the future. A key focus in Nader’s lecture was the idea of students taking on more leadership roles and getting together to take action.
“To know and not to do is not to know,” Ralph Nader said as he finished up his lecture.
CSA’s President, Ranpreet Randhawa believes that Nadar has “the ability to take action.” Many students after hearing the Ralph Nader lecture were inspired to make a change, viewing Ralph Nader as an iconic figure.
“I loved his presentation … It was about questioning the roots of consumerism and drawing the line when it comes to externalizing cost, because that’s what companies do so they make the most at their bottom line,” said Human rights and diversity student Elaheh Sajadi.
“Ralph Nader is an icon. He tells it as it is and doesn’t shy away from the truth. [He] just makes you want to get out there and make a difference,” said Daniel Allen, a first-year political science student who came from Toronto to hear the lecture.
The CSA plans on having many more events that will be as admirable, educational and inspirational as Ralph Nader. Students interested can locate their Facebook page and look out for posts on upcoming events. One highlight is CSA’s annual conference that will take place around March 2017. Students can participate and get involved just by contacting CSA.