Much like the rest of the country, the NYU College Democrats are divided. Opposed to the Republicans, but still divided.
At their reenactment of the Iowa Caucus that had taken place on Monday, Feb. 1, supporters of Bernie Sanders huddled in one corner, mirroring his quarrelsome demeanor as they shared their #FeelTheBern moments. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s supporters recited their #IStandWithHer motives.
NYU College Democrats President and Gallatin senior Chloe Chik said events like these are perfect examples of how the club tries maximizing member interaction while teaching and discussing politics at their meetings.
“The mission of the College Democrats is to better serve the NYU community and students as a whole of the Democratic party,” Chik said.
The group discusses topics that range from environmental issues to foreign policy, and the supplemental activities can include anything from guest speakers to movies. The only true consistency is their weekly Thursday night meeting time.
While most members discussed either Sanders or Clinton, a few democrats stood in the room’s fourth corner, where no candidate’s picture was displayed, since they had not yet committed to a candidate. They oscillated between Sanders and Clinton, as the two groups prepared to defend their respective candidates in a friendly mock debate, set up to sway the undecided members.
The inclusive environment is why CAS sophomore Fadumo Osman said she continues to participate in the club. As the College Democrat’s Campaign Director, Osman leads their collaboration efforts with other groups.
“If students are joining a protest about climate change or Black Lives Matter, I mobilize our members to join through advertising at meetings, sending it in the emails or posting in the Facebook group so that students don’t feel uncomfortable at joining these new initiatives,” Osman said. “As long as it’s aligned with the Democratic Party, then it’s no issue.”
Osman believes that this united advocacy is what makes the club so special to her.
“It’s insane how closely bonded the membership is beyond our general meetings,” Osman said. “I think that’s what keeps us both a fun club as well as a club that informs its members. Striking a balance has been difficult, but without that personal connection, we wouldn’t have the active membership that we have.”
Staff manager and CAS junior Drew Weber said these events are how he found his core friend group.
“I am definitely in a bubble, since I’m constantly surrounded by people who care about politics,” Weber said. “But in general, I think the current generation has been unfairly pegged as apathetic. I think we’re less apathetic and more frustrated with the current [political] climate.”
Weber said he thinks NYU College Democrats help fight irritations with our country’s political atmosphere by discussing politics in an engaging and intellectually stimulating collegiate environment — breaking the stereotype of youth being politically disinterested.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 8 print edition. Email Diamond Naga Siu at [email protected]