Club Spotlight: College Democrats

Casey Ryder, Staff Writer |

Are you somebody with liberal political viewpoints that would like a space to discuss current events and political topics? If yes, you’ll be happy to hear that there is a club waiting for you! 

The Oneonta College Democrats club, which is a chapter of College Democrats of New York (CDNY), is a group of Democrats on campus that meet once a week on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. in room 130 of Fitzelle Hall. When the group meets, the typical meeting consists of recapping whatever events they’ve recently discussed, planning for any events are coming up, brainstorming ideas for future events, and in most meetings, they’ll talk about the news. 

Most recently, the group discussed the bill that just passed in Florida which is being called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. 

Outside of meetings, the club puts on a variety of events during the year. Club President Michelle Schneider said, “We are starting up an annual lecture series for the spring semester. We also both independently and collaboratively had voter registration drives where we would table in locations like Fitzelle, IRC, or the dining halls to help students get registered to vote. Our last one we collaborated with all the other political clubs on campus, and I believe we got over 60 people registered to vote… We’ve also done debate watch parties. In 2020 with the Democratic Primaries, they had debates and also if Senators are running or if other officials are running where they have debates we’ve had watch parties for them before. Our latest watch party was between the Oneonta mayoral candidates last semester. We’ve also helped campaign for officials. In the past, we’ve phone banked for Antonio Delgado, and last semester myself and Maggie McCann, another member of the organization, went to over 100 houses in Oneonta and hung up door hangers for Mayor Mark Drnek… We’ve also done trivia events… where we’ll play Kahoot and the winner at the end will win a prize.” 

Anyone who follows politics knows that 2022 is a big year with the midterm elections coming up in the fall, and Schneider says that the group has its sights set on the big races that are happening in the state such as the Senate and House of Representatives elections. 

When asked what the group’s priorities are for the fall Schneider said, “Most of the stuff that’s bigger within the state so Senators, members of the House… Usually those efforts are done through CDNY. They organize phone banking events that we’ll often take part in.” 

Lastly, if you are a Democrat on campus that is still unsure about joining this amazing club, take it from Schneider who said, “It’s a lot of fun. Our group has gotten a lot bigger this academic year… We’re a fun group, at the very least the meetings are a good time… We also do a lot of different things. We have non-partisan types of events, things that would be supported by everybody who wants to participate in politics. The voter registration drives, the trivia events, and then we also have events that are a little more partisan such as advocating for certain legislation, phone banking, and helping with campaigning. Or maybe they want to take a more academic approach, we have our lecture series and that’s heavily academic. There’s different ways within our group that a student could focus their efforts and their interests into and so I think it’s attractive and engaging.”        

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