Friday, October 7, 2011

"If you don't do politics, politics will do you." what the French and Joan Mandle, executive director of Democracy Matters say. This past Tuesday I attended a dinner with the executive director of Democracy Matters, Joan Mandle and a few other student activists. We talked about student movements, St. Michael's and how we can make a difference in the political arena of the United States. Joan is an extremely intelligent person who teaches sociology at Colgate University in New York. She has experienced things that politically engaged students today only dream today. Joan has marched on Washington with Dr. King and participated with other students during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Incredible stuff.

I just love when Joan said this quote about politics. In the United States, politics can be a dirty word. People don't want to talk about politics at risk of being too controversial. But as this quote suggests, it is such an important part of participating in society. At the most obvious level politics control taxes, the military and social security. But to dig deeper than that is to realize that everything from the food you we eat to the shoes on our feet is political. So, it is only natural that we care about these things.

After dinner we had a meeting with more students about how to organize and attract students to political events on campus. You have to be able to convince your friends to agree with you before you are able to reach out to more people. St. Michael's is an incredibly caring campus with organizations like the Student Labor Action Movement (SLAM), the Peace & Justice Club, the Food Justice Club, Common Ground (an LGBT alliance group), the Student Global AIDS Campaign (SLAM) and our giant volunteer organization, MOVE. I believe that these excellent groups could work together more to more effectively achieve or goals. The saying, "the more the merrier," holds some truth, especially in this circumstance.

This weekend we are planning an event that will hopefully utilize all of these excellent resources on campus (more to come!).
But for now know that the world is changing fast. Sometimes you can forget that there are people that have some very similar views that you do. In fact, these people may be all around just waiting to be a part of something bigger than yourselves. Peace!!

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