Liberal Student groups on campus increase activism

Andrew Kirk and Lily Connor, Courtesy of Megan Wagner.

Andrew Kirk and Lily Connor, Courtesy of Megan Wagner.

Looking for a way to become more involved or even obtain a bit of knowledge about current world issues? The immense amount of student groups on campus has increased this semester and these groups are looking for new members to become involved with their causes. SU Socialists and Young Democrats are two groups that have recently become active on campus. Though the groups vary ideologically, they both express a wish to increase awareness and education about political and social issues among the SU community.

SU Socialists is interested in joining all types of political ideologies, such as Marxists, Social Democrats, Anarchists and a wide array of others that encompass the ideas of socialism. The group hopes to emphasize the fact that there is not just one form of socialism and that socialism is not what all people believe it to be.

Two projects that SU Socialists hopes to become involved with are the Stir It Up Campaign, which focuses on creating better working standards for campus food service employees, as well as Designated Supplies Program, a program that, when adopted by a university, makes sure the supplier of the university’s apparel is not selling clothing created in sweatshops. The SU Socialists hope to get rid of the social stigma that Socialism has developed over the course of history and the direct relation it has with historical figures, such as Stalin. Instead, they want to focus on the reform and awareness that Socialists’ movements bring. After all, member Lily Connor stated, “Socialism is a very American thing, which has its roots in the labor reform era of the early American 20th century as well as the Civil Rights Movement era.”

Another club developing this semester, the Young Democrats, which has been dormant on campus for about a year and a half, is attempting to reform by getting more students to join, making mail-in ballots available on campus to allow students that are away from home to still take part in their local elections, partnering with the University of Texas’ Young Democrats and providing a forum to discuss political issues. They are especially interested in creating more awareness within the Williamson County political realm by working with the Williamson Country Democratic Party and also are focusing on the upcoming Texas Governor’s race.

The main focus of the group this semester is to create a solid base to launch off in the coming years by getting more students actively involved. Young Democrats has not decided on any set issues to commit themselves to, seeing this as a more long term goal, and they believe that as the group begins to take a more permanent position on campus, they will begin to take on policies they feel are pertinent to the Southwestern and Georgetown communities.

Regardless of your political affiliation, if you see getting involved with issues outside of the next Top Model or American Idol, giving each of these groups a shot is definitely the way to go. Both groups provide an open forum for intelligent discussion on important social and political issues and are open to new people coming in to join the conversation or to just sit and hear other people’s points of view. The main hope of both groups is to get people considering different points of view and activley discussing policies and events that affect all students.

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