We're in college, so many feel they have to do the cool thing, and right now it is cool to support refugees and pillaged peoples a million miles away. In fact that has always been cool on college campuses. Holding rallies they will never see, signing petitions they will never read, and having football-field sleepovers in nice warm sleeping bags that they could never afford does nothing to help.That's right, it does nothing to help despite however shiny and admirable the action may appear. And I do not think the students are aware of this despite their genuine intentions (I'm not of the belief that students don't want to help the world, but I certainly think that they have a skewed view of their own effectiveness).
I realized when I first came here that GW is a school full of trends; Ugg Boots, North Face Jackets, Starbucks (fair-trade) coffee and BlackBerries.
There you have the major empty-handed goal of trendy activism. Awareness. It's like these groups care little if you actually do something. All it seems you have to do is buy their wristbands, buy their shirts, sign up for a listsev and spend one night outside and like magic, all the bad things in the world will go away. But alas, you can't dream away the problems of the world.