Get to Know: The Oglethorpe University Social Democrats
By Valeri Cruz Amaya, Staff Writer
Even though Oglethorpe has moved online for the fall 2020 semester, the extracurricular activities still remain very much alive. The Stormy Petrel is starting a new section this year to feature Oglethorpe’s clubs and organizations, as well as new faces, to help OU students form new relationships with others and to find the perfect club for them.
The club featured for this week is the Oglethorpe University Social Democrats. Created in 2019 by Josue Acosta and Jakeb Sanders, the Social Democrats’s original goal was to canvas for former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and for other progressive politicians. The President of the club, Josue Acosta, shared that since last year, the club’s purpose and goals have shifted “to push forward, not candidates, but socialist ideas and works.”
In the club’s constitution, the main values are anti-capitalism, anti-racism, and pro-feminism. When asked to elaborate on these values, Josue Acosta said, “Anti-capitalist acknowledges the malpractices corporations, money interest groups, and what the wealthy elite do to the rest of society.” Acosta added that the anti-capitalist values are linked to anti-racism because of the exploitation of the BIPOC community that occurs under capitalism. The club practices these values by denouncing capitalism and inviting guest speakers that believe in these same principles.
The Social Democrats have had two guest speakers and are planning for others as well, all of which are BIPOC or advocates for these communities. The club’s meetings consist of guest speakers, discussions on current events/politics and even mental health-check ins. Acosta said Social Dems is planning to implement break-out rooms to “create a space that supports and builds confidence for students to express their thoughts”.
If you’re interested in joining Oglethorpe University Social Democrats, the best way to receive information is through their instagram, @ousocialdems. On their instagram, one can find their linktree with links to the Social Dems website, voting information, their GroupMe and much more.
Although the club may have socialist values, Josue Acosta said that those interested in the club don’t have to be a socialist or a social dem to join. The club is meant to provide resources to its members to push the socialist message they want to convey, “We prioritize social justice, which starts with giving yourself the time and space to grow as a person...It’s not just a club, but sort of a movement that changes how one thinks. ”