New SDS unites students
The members of the new Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) Club aren’t happy about the recent election results. They’ve reacted constructively, though, because they share a mission to create change.
“My favorite part of this club is that I get to be with individuals who actually support the same cause as I do,” senior Shannen Lam said. “We believe that instead of just posting on Facebook, we should do something and take action.”
SDS held its first meeting on Nov. 29 in history teacher Mary DeLuca’s room 901. During the meeting, members wrote an avalanche of postcards to tell Donald Trump why he should not hire Steve Bannon to be the White House Chief Strategist due to Bannon’s racist remarks. They discussed the halting of the Dakota Access Pipeline construction, a victory for human rights enthusiasts, during their next meeting.
The club is currently in the midst of writing a letter campaign to Congresswoman Mimi Walters. They oppose her conservative views on energy; she believes in staying with traditional energy sources and opposed President Obama’s Clean Power plan. In response, the club is trying to convince her to accept alternative energy sources such as solar power. In addition, members are asking her to consider if Trump should really appoint Cabinet members who have a history of racism. The club is also currently drafting goals and objectives they hope to accomplish throughout the year. Although it is not exactly sure what areas it wants to focus on, SDS plan on spreading political awareness.
The original SDS began in the 1960s in Ann Arbor, Michigan and lasted until 1969. It represented the New Left, a political movement that worked to reform gay rights, women’s rights and other social causes. A new version of SDS, started by high school students Jessica Rapchick and Pat Korte, began in January 2006 when Korte contacted Adam Haber, a member of the original SDS. After that, SDS chapters formed at several colleges and high schools. They held their first northwest regional conference on April 23, 2006 and their first national convention five months later at the University of Chicago. Their efforts in the first few years after their formation focused on their opposition to the Iraq War. Last year, they stood against police brutality.
“Our personal favorite thing about SDS is that it offers students and youth a way to engage with the world around it, and change it for the better,” a representative of the national SDS said. “SDS allows us to build power independent of the political establishment and fight for our interests.”
Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled the name of an SDS member. Her name is Shannen Lam, not Shannon Lam. We’re sorry Shannen.