Over the past few years, I’ve noticed an uptick in despair in the classroom. Students are worried: about the economy, about the environment, about the state of politics, about their futures. Because I teach classes on youth political activism and social movements, I can offer some examples of social change, some possible avenues and alternatives. But more often than not these examples are far flung and often remote to our students. For me, joining a faculty union is about solidarity, equitable decisionmaking and democracy here at the university. But it is also about modeling these things for our students in ways that bring hope back to the classroom. If students can’t learn that change as possible here at the university, where else will they learn it? If they can’t see democracy in action–with all its setbacks and challenges, as well as its victories—where will they see it? And if modeling critical, democratic thinking and action for our students isn’t part of our mission as educators, whose mission could it possibly be?