With Election Day less than two months away, Baruch students may wish for a forum in which they can express their political views among like-minded students.
Such a forum exists in College Democrats at Baruch, a partisan club dedicated to discussing the ideals of the Democratic Party as well as promoting student interest in politics.
“I noticed that we did not have any political clubs on campus, which is crazy because we are an inner city school,” said Mia McDonald, College Democrats at Baruch’s president and a senior majoring in public affairs. “CUNY especially is the subject of a lot of political discussions so it is crazy that we are involved in political discussion and we are very much affected by political decisions made both locally and nationally, but there were no political clubs on campus.”
The club began its development in October 2015 and received a charter at the end of the Spring 2016 semester. It exists as a chapter within the College Democrats of New York and is part of the College Democrats of America, a youth arm of the Democratic National Committee.
Although other Baruch clubs sometimes weave politics and social issues into their events, College Democrats at Baruch is the only chartered partisan club on campus. Baruch College Republicans is currently in the process of getting its own charter.
Despite the club’s affiliation with the DNC, its leadership made it clear that the club was open to students of all political beliefs and did not exclude non-democrats from discussions.
“We hope to get a larger audience, as well as a larger amount of people on campus involved in voting,” said Tranesa Houston, the club’s secretary and a political science major. “We want to get more people involved in politics, especially local politics.”
Houston stated that she was registered as an independent, although she does occasionally re-register herself as a democrat.
The club’s executive board members are no strangers to political involvement, whether it be canvassing for democratic politicians or working with the New York City Comptroller, among other roles.
“College students are oftentimes in a bubble and Baruch is a commuter school, so a lot of people think ‘I’m going to go to class, then I’m going to go home and I’m not going to think about anything else,’ but it is important for people to talk about policy,” said Christina Mar, the club’s vice president and a public affairs major.
“It is important to involve yourself and educate yourself about what is going on [in politics], and I think college is the best place … to learn more about different perspectives.”
As College Democrats at Baruch looks to get more people involved in politics and maximize the impact of college students in the upcoming elections, members of the club will be participating in several political events in the near future.
The club will co-sponsor and table at a voter registration drive on Tuesday, Sept. 27, as well as co-host and debate with Baruch College Republicans in mid-October.