The College Democrats at the University of La Verne are uniting to bring awareness and educate students on current political issues.
During March and April, the club is holding events every week having to do with peace, equality and immigration.
The club held a migration awareness week. Some undocumented students on campus were willing to tell their stories and speak with other students. The club hoped that with this, people would expand their mindset and perception about immigration and undocumented students.
The club meets at 5 p.m. every Monday in the Campus Center to discuss international, national and local politics.
The members of the club have all different beliefs and backgrounds and the club prides itself on welcoming everyone into their meetings. The diversity in the club makes for great debates, but the most important impact that they make on campus is promoting education about diversity and peace through their events and meetings
Tala Achi, president of the club and sophomore political science major, said that the students particularly like College Democrats because they provide bipartisan information.
“I will say this is what happens if you vote yes on this measure and this is what happens if you vote no,” Achi said. “It is never us telling people this how you vote, this is what to say, and this what to do. It is more about political freedom.”
The club was created in 2012 by alumni Anthony Reyes and Edward Ortiz. They are both still involved and share advice with Achi about how to make the club successful. Their club mission statement says that, “The College Democrats at the University of La Verne are committed towards offering students a source in which to be politically involved both on campus and around the community.”
Patrick Reyes, club member and junior political science major, said that being part of the club on campus has allowed him to expand his view and be more aware of contemporary politics.
“Bringing awareness is one of the first things you need to do to take action. Uninformed action hurts movements,” Reyes said.
After the election, Achi said that students felt discouraged and scared and that had an effect on the amount of members in the club.
Achi said a lot of people left the club thinking that there is no hope and that they are not doing enough. The club’s goal is to get more people to join to help get more information out about keeping hope alive and fighting for equality.
“There should still be hope,” said Jordan Harwell, sophomore history major and College Democrats vice president. “Politics is a year round venture; it doesn’t end at the election. If you aren’t involved in the dialogue you can’t be a part of the change.”
College Democrats have panel discussions, political fairs and events on media literacy.
“Just come once and see how you like it,” Harwell said. “Come with an open mind because we want to hear what you want to say.”
Mariela Martinez, senior political science major and secretary of the club has been a member of the College Democrats for all four years at the university and has seen it grow and flourish.
“This club is something that reflects our society, the community that we are in, and real issues that are coming up,” Martinez said.
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