Mizzou College Democrats aims to stimulate healthy political discourse on campus

Mizzou College Democrats, while not sponsoring campaigns during primaries, offers opportunities for its members to get involved in local and national races
The Missouri College Democrats logo. Courtesy of Facebook via @mizzoudems

Set up around Speakers Circle, Mizzou College Democrats President Sadie Jess manned the club’s recruitment booth on Aug. 23. ‘Jason Kander for 2016 senate’ buttons and a Ruth Bader Ginsburg cutout were displayed.

Jess said she expects more people to attend meetings this year, as the presidential primaries kick off early 2020. She said the club ranges from 50 to 70 members and meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in Strickland Hall.

According to Jess, the club follows an open door policy, which allows people of all walks of political thought to attend meetings.

“There’s such a broad range of ideologies within the group,” Membership Coordinator Emily Lower said. “It’s always interesting in general to just hear that while we all call each other the Democrats, just how much we differ and where those differences lie.”

Jess said the club maintains a healthy, working relationship with Mizzou College Republicans. She said the two clubs have hosted informal debates in the past over issues like the environment and criminal justice reform. She said she expects more joint meetings to take place with Mizzou College Republicans over the course of the school year.

Jess said Mizzou College Democrats also indirectly collaborated with MU Socialists last year. Both were co-sponsors of Planned Parenthood Advocates at Mizzou’s #FreePlanBMIZ initiative. This initiative sought to make Plan B contraceptives more accessible to MU students.

Vice President of Mizzou Democrats Matthew Carroll said the club offers an array of opportunities for members to get involved with local and national politics, which range from working for campaigns to defending bills in Jefferson City.

“It will be a very, very active year on the national and state level with all the 2020 races,” Carroll said. “We are fortunate enough to have pretty easy access to getting ahold of campaigns and whatnot and having the right connections within the party to get people involved. The beauty of it is that everybody knows someone who’s worked for someone.”

Joining Mizzou College Democrats, Lower said, has given her an opportunity to feel validated for her liberal viewpoints. She said this is a common theme within potential members.

“So many of them talk about their experience of not having a liberal community within their hometown and coming here finally being free to discuss and feel accepted within their discussions of their liberal viewpoint,” Lower said.

Edited by Ben Scott | bscott@themaneater.com

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