College Democrats is a politically educational activist group on Valpo’s campus. This year, President Allie Cyr and other leaders plan to keep the educational aspect of the organization that has been prominent in years past, but also become more involved in the activism side of things.
“For this year with me and the other three leaders, Rachel DeWitt, Nadya Al-Shawi and Antigone Wilson, are planning on not only keeping the political education aspect of it, but we want to get more involved in the activist side of things, too, and lean more towards sort of bipartisan efforts with College Republicans, and sort of multi-organizational efforts with other organizations too on campus,” Cyr said. “Just because getting more involved with all students seems to be a great thing to do right now. Or at least to the extent that we can given COVID restrictions.”
The potential plans might include working with events held by the Student Organizing Committee, especially those that are “relevant to what’s been going on in our global political circumstances.” At the time of the interview, Cyr discussed plans to encourage students to listen in on the Presidential Debates.
Cyr also mentioned plans to gear some of their activism towards inclusivity on campus.
“In terms of other activism, we were planning on leaning more towards activities or events that surround the LGBTQ+ community, not only because one of our leaders is a part of that community, but because we've seen sort of a lack of that on campus, aside from what Alliance has been able to get across. So we definitely want to incorporate more inclusivity with that community,” Cyr said.
To get informed looking into the election, Cyr suggested watching the news and remaining aware of what’s happening in the world.
“So aside from joining College Democrats or College Republicans or seeing anything that we might post on our social media pages, it's definitely important to look at the news every day,” Cyr said. “It's not a very positive piece of advice, but it's definitely something that keeps you at least aware of what's going on, and keeps the knowledge of what might be happening here or what might be happening in other countries in the back of your mind, just so things are a little bit more in order.”
For students who have considered joining College Democrats, Cyr suggests checking it out and talking with members. Because politics affect so much of our lives, she believes that it is good regardless to educate yourself on the issues.
“...Ultimately, it might be either confusing just because a lot of us don't really know how far left we may lean, or how far right we may lean or whether or not we really think that politics is for us. But ultimately, I kind of had the mindset that like everything really is politics in the sense that everything that is political or is run by our institutions affects pretty much every aspect of our lives.”
Those interested in joining College Democrats can reach out to Cyr or any of the other leaders mentioned. You can also contact the professor who sponsors the organization, Dr. Hora, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Plus, it's just a nice space to discuss what we might be worried about during a time like this, which is pretty unprecedented,” Cyr said. “Or just to find out ways that you can get more involved in the Valparaiso community, both on campus and off campus.”