College Democrats: Club looking past election, planning further engagement

The College Democrats of OSU go over the daily newspaper and discuss politics.

Madeline Bright, Practicum Contributor

The Oregon State University College Democrat Club President, Sierra Alvernaz, has been building the club from the ground up this year. Last year’s vice president, she took over as president at the beginning of this year and was left with only three members. With her leadership there is now seven board members as well as eight regular members.

“Within the past year our other President was going to be leaving, and I thought this is a good opportunity for me this year to step up,” Alvernaz said. “I think I can help the group grow by using what I’ve learned from my experiences as College Democrats vice president last year.”

 The College Democrats are a club for students who support the ideals of the Democratic Party. The club aims to engage students and bring people together with similar views who have a desire to learn about politics.

 “It’s a good learning experience, I definitely would say,” Alvernaz said. “It’s good to be around like-minded people and also let students know about different opportunities that are coming up in the fall, it doesn’t have to be boring, you can make it fun.”

The College Democrats offers learning opportunities as well as activities for members.

 “We do membership outreach in a variety of ways. In the past, we have tabled in the quad and handed out flyers on campus. We also do a lot of social media promotion, particularly for our meetings and events,” Johnson said. “Hosting events like our debate viewing parties have been a great way to attract potential members.”  

“As much is this is a club, we do want it to be a bit of networking for students who are a part of the club,” added Andrew Damitio, political director of the College Democrats.

Club Communications Director, Breanne Johnson said they are busy with the approaching election.

“Leading up to the election, our club has been canvassing on campus and around the state for Democratic candidates and issues, as well as helping with the campus-wide voter registration drive. We have also been hosting presidential debate viewing parties and discussions to make sure that our members are informed on the issues and the candidates,” Johnson said. 

College Democrats are supporting Hillary Clinton however, they have not taken any stance on statewide measures. 

“We have not taken a stance on Corvallis City Council races, or the local measures asking voters if they support marijuana taxes or urge the state to act on healthcare. We support Corvallis State Rep. Dan Rayfield, who has helped the club extensively,” Damitio said. 

The club will not be hosting their own watch party on Nov. 8. However, they will be attending the watch party event the Benton County Democrats are having in downtown Corvallis. The watch party is election night Nov. 8, at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli.

When the dust begins to settle on Nov. 9, the club looks forward to the opportunities change brings.

 “After the election is over, we will continue to engage students in the political process by holding discussion-based meetings, partnering with local progressive organizations such as Planned Parenthood and elected officials like Dan Rayfield, and helping to move forward progressive legislation in the state legislature,” Johnson said.

For anyone interested in the, College Democrats at OSU they meet each Monday at 7 p.m. in Strand Agriculture Hall, room 113.