LU Dems address key issues, celebrate achievements

Laura Streyle

LU Dems rally at Dems Week 2010. (dave broker)

The first week of February
was the College Democrats’ “Dems
Week” on the Lawrence campus.
The College Democrats are a group
of students who encourage an
active political climate on campus
through the presentation of issues
that are of particular concern to
the Democratic Party.
Dems Week is a weeklong
series of events, each creating
opportunities for political debate,
celebration and questioning of
opinions.
Kicking off the week Monday,
Feb. 1, the College Dems invited
Maggie Schmidt, a member of the
Gay, Lesbian Or Whatever club to
share her knowledge about how
LGTBQ rights are fitting into the
current political arena.
Schmidt’s presentation included
a detailed overview of LGTBQ
rights in the United States and
abroad, as well as a more focused
discussion about marriage equality.
The night of Tuesday, Feb. 2,
was reserved for political comedy
and light-heartedness with a
showing of the movie “My Fellow
Americans” in the Warch Campus
Center Cinema.
The goal of showing this movie
was to gather a non-partisan audience
to enjoy a movie that accentuates
the stereotypical foibles of
Democrats and Republicans alike,
to show that both liberals and conservatives
have their quirks.
Following this night of leveling the playing field, a State
of the Union Panel took
place Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 7
p.m. Occurring a week after
President Obama’s State of
the Union Address for 2010,
the panel was made up of
five people: two Democrats,
J. B. Sivanich and Maggie
Schmidt, two Republicans,
Fanny Briceno and Cooper
Smith, and one neutral member,
Assistant Professor of
Government Arnold Shober.
In reviewing the panel
discussion, Shober commented:
“Both of the Republicans
and both Democrats on the
panel were able to give solid
evidence for their agreements
and disagreements
with the president. I’m a firm
believer that the freedom to
criticize is crucial to democracy
– and that isn’t confined
to just one side of the
political spectrum.”
Next on the Dems Week
agenda was a presentation
by local Sierra Club members
Dale Schaber and Will
Stahl. The speakers focused
on ongoing club projects
at the national, state and
Fox Valley levels, including
mountain top removal, water
contamination due to farm
runoff, and the local Ice Age
Trail.
According to Kate Allison
and Csilla Megyeri, two
active College Democrats
club members, the biggest
and best event of the week
was the “Rally at the Warch”
event, which took place
Friday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.
The rally was held in the
Hurvis Room of the Warch
Campus Center and brought
big names to campus, such
as U.S. Congressman Steve
Kagen, Assembly Majority
Leader Tom Nelson, State
Representative Penny
Bernard Schaber and Wisc.
Lieutenant Governor candidate
Henry Sanders.
Nelson, Schaber and
Sanders started out the rally
with short speeches regarding
the importance of keeping
young voters energized
as politicians whittle away
at current policy refinement.
Kagen then opened the
floor for questions from
the audience. A majority
of the questions regarded
healthcare, and these were
answered with bits of information
about his healthcare
agenda for an indiscriminate
standard health insurance
policy and creating large-risk
pools to bring prescription
costs down.
This event piqued the
interest of not only the
Lawrence community, but of
the Fox Valley community as
well, attracting around 50
people.
Dave Broker, president
of the College Democrats,
expressed his satisfaction
with the hard work and
thoughtful planning carried
out by his fellow College
Democrats for the 2010
Dems Week.
Regarding the dynamic
rally at the Warch, Broker
said, “Our organization has
never really tried anything
like this for Dems Week
before, so I’m really happy
that it [came] along so well.

LU Dems rally at Dems Week 2010. (dave broker)

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