Six Months In: We Surge On

Steve Jobs created Apple in a garage. Facebook emerged out of a college dorm room. And so, like all good (and equally famous) things, the idea for Surge began in the Plank basement.

As seniors, and admittedly all bonafide social justice enthusiasts, we wanted to expand the movement at Gettysburg College and leave our mark.

But how exactly could we reach a large group of college students who are either busy binging on the latest Netflix instant series or overdosing on caffeine in the library after an all-nighter?

We needed to build a forum for students to share their everyday experiences and connect them to larger systemic social issues. Once some students did it, others would too. Instead of the latest episode of Breaking Bad being the hottest topic in conversation, we could popularize justice by making it applicable to the average college student.

Creating more meetings wouldn’t work. We’d find ourselves rocking back and forth in the orange space chairs of Plank basement, frustrated yet again because our conversations about race, gender, sexuality, and income inequality always included the same small group of individuals. So, we took to our computers. After all…what else do college students do when they’re trying desperately to avoid homework and classes? We sit on the internet and read blogs.

“Surge” it became. A blog with that name that pushes us forward, moves us. It is powerful. It is electric. And it is precisely what we wanted the blog’s effect to be.

We started writing. And, soon after its launch, Surge became one of the hottest “buzzwords” on campus. Its very first article, “How to Look Like a Lesbian Without Even Trying,” went viral within the first two hours of posting.

As we hoped, people started reading and they started writing. Entries started flowing in from students and alumni that we didn’t even know. Guess what? There are lots of Gettysburg folks who want to talk about the effect of race, rape culture, hypervisibility, class, look, profiling, depression, sexuality (the list goes on) in their everyday lives. They want to connect their experiences to larger systemic issues. They want to recognize their own biases. They want to challenge their peers. They want to stop talking about diversity. They want to change culture on campus. They want to unlearn the untruths forced down their throats since birth. They want to get to the root of inequity. And, they want to inspire others to do the same.

Since those initial terrifying “OMG WE’RE ACTUALLY GOING LIVE” moments between class where we hovered over our laptops and watched the view count climbing, Surge has grown beyond our wildest expectations.

Twice a week for the last six months, Surge has posted over 50 honest reflections written by 30 different individuals. 45,000 views later, we’ve provided an outlet for students at Gettysburg College (and people in ninety other countries as well) to listen, learn and be heard.

A movement is in motion.  It’s not purely academic. It’s not purely social. It’s a blend of both of these things in addition to a whole lot of passion, critical thought, and the power of sharing experiences.

So, jump on. Join the new Surge team. Write a blog. Shock the system.

Laura Koenig ‘13
Founding Staff Writer
Emily Lindholm ‘13
Founding Editor
Hannah Frantz ‘13
Founding Editor
Elizabeth Rupert ‘13
Founding Blog Manager