Stepping up their game

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NYU's College Democrats are expanding their range of activities as the midterm elections approach


  • Members of NYU's College Democrats. Photo courtesy of College Democrats at NYU, via Facebook

  • Photo courtesy College Democrats at NYU, via Facebook

“We believe that each candidate, each district, each race is unique, so we believe that Democrats need to tailor their message to move along the liberal spectrum from more conservative to more progressive based on what they believe their constituents are.”

Arman Becan, club secretary, NYU College Democrats

The New York University College Democrats have stepped up their game as the 2018 midterm elections draw closer by the day.

The student political club has expanded their range of sponsored events to an almost weekly basis, while also conducting regular panel meetings every Thursday evening.

One such event was a panel of speakers discussing foreign policy after Donald Trump's presidency. Author Peter Beinart, former diplomat and Deputy White House Chief of Staff Mona Sutphen and Center for American Progress member Brian Katulis gathered at the New York University Kimmel Center on September 20 to talk about the future of foreign policy in the Democratic party.

These events are not only limited to members of the College Democrats, but also open to general students as well.

“We have a very active social media account, and we do try to reach out and promote large events,” said club secretary Arman Becan. “We try to use our reputation, our name recognition to reach out and say 'Hey, we're having an event ...' and of course we encourage anyone who's interested in liberal and Democratic politics to come to our meetings to learn more.”

“There are [students] dissatisfied with the Trump administration and dissatisfied with Republicans in Congress,” said club president Oliver Jones. “We welcome anybody who's working to counteract this administration in terms of preventing its horrendous agenda from passing.”

The College Democrats also discussed the outcome of Christine Blasey Ford's hearing regarding her accusations of sexual abuse by Brett Kavanaugh. Held on the September 27, club members and other students gathered in the Grand Hall of New York University's Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life (GCASL) to re-live Ford and Kavanaugh's testimonies. Although the students decided to remain anonymous due to the sensitive emotions being discussed, most participants agreed that Ford had been treated rather unfairly in her part of the hearing, which led to a further discussion about the treatment of female representatives in the Democratic party.

Another event on October 4 involved a phone-banking session to support Congressional candidates Antonio Delgado and Max Rose, with a handful of students making calls in the GCASL basement to potential voters to promote the campaigns of both candidates.

According to both Jones and Becan, the main aim of the club is not to stick to any sort of specific Democratic model or advance any particular policy, but to remain flexible and try to get Democrats into office to continue along a more liberal path for state politics.

“Our goal is electing Democrats,” said Jones. “We [also] have to look at ourselves as NYU College Democrats and looking at where we fit into the party fixture.”

“We believe that each candidate, each district, each race is unique,” said Becan, “so we believe that Democrats need to tailor their message to move along the liberal spectrum from more conservative to more progressive based on what they believe their constituents are.”

Further activities sponsored by the College Democrats includes a trip to Staten Island neighborhoods where they will get the word out about the Max Rose campaign by knocking on doors and talking to residents. In addition, the College Democrats also opened up a small booth in the Kimmel Center lobby to encourage people to go out and vote.

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