The Lawrence University College Democrats organized its annual programming for Dems Week Feb. 21 through 25.
According to the group’s Director of Campus Relations Jamey Kane ‘11, the purpose of the Lawrence College Democrats is “to advocate Democratic causes, or causes that the Democratic parties support and to help elect Democratic candidates in elections. When it is not election time, we also like to try and educate people on issues.”
In an effort to further the mission of the College Democrats, Dems Week explored a wide range of issues relevant to the democratic party. Dems Week kicked off with a presentation Feb. 21 by the Sierra Club, a well-known environmental organization. The goal of the presentation as a part of Dems Week was to facilitate a connection between students concerned about the environment and local organizations who are actively sustaining it.
Although State Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber was scheduled to participate Feb. 21 in Dems Week, she was unable to attend due to the protests in Madison. A dinner was originally scheduled for Lawrentians to share their concerns with Representative Schaber, since the student population at Lawrence makes up a large fraction of her constituency.
Dems Week continued Feb. 22 with game night in Hiett Hall, followed by a presentation by GLOW representatives on same sex marriage issues Feb 23. Speakers from the Wisconsin Teacher Union were scheduled to present Feb. 24, but unfortunately had to cancel because of the protests in Madison
“We thought it was a good way to tie unions, which are a big part of the democratic party, to Lawrentians,” stated Kane. “We thought that education majors — both music ed. and other — would be interested in that.”
To end Dems Week, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” will be shown Feb. 25 in the campus cinema. The College Democrats have shown films within the past few years in an effort to raise awareness about politics. These films don’t necessarily advocate Democratic positions, but they are a fun attempt to get people involved in political dialogue.
In the future, the LU College Democrats will be holding both election- and issue-oriented events on campus, providing great educational opportunities open to all Lawrentians.
In the works now is a collaboration between the LU College Democrats and College Republicans to promote awareness about politics. The College Democrats are also open to student ideas regarding programming.
Said Kane, “The issues that we’re working on are issues that effect the local, state and national levels. Even if you’re graduating in the spring and moving far away from Appleton, the events are a really big deal. The elections have a huge effect… We’ve played a role in presidential, senate and congressional elections and those are important. They affect what is happening around the country.”
“If people want to have a role in shaping the political environment, they should get involved,” Kane continued. “It doesn’t have to be a super active role, but if they would like to be more informed about issues or support candidates who support issues they support, the Dems is a great way to get involved.”