Politically-focused student orgs touch on election-based initiatives

Lauren Reid, Content Editor

Amid election season, politically-centered Oakland University student organizations have been focusing on the race for the presidency — working in the interest of their respective groups to educate members, highlight candidates, spread their messages etc. 

Christina Walker, president of the Political Science Honor Society — Pi Sigma Alpha — at OU, mentioned her organization has hosted debate watch parties and Zoom sessions with professors to discuss implications of the 2020 presidential election. 

“[In addition to the watch parties and informational sessions], a lot of our members have been working on various campaigns, so we have been promoting volunteer opportunities,” Walker said. 

Pi Sigma Alpha is a non-partisan student organization.

“We are not necessarily busier because of the election, but we are running more American politics centric events than we usually do (typically it is more of an even split between international and American politics events),” Walker said. “The goal of Pi Sigma Alpha is to honor students who have achieved academic success, but we hope to engage all students interested in international relations and American politics.”

The Young Democratic Socialists of OU (YDS) have been working to host political education events and encourage relational organizing. The goal of YDS is to build power toward co-liberatory socialism, as mentioned by YDS Vice President, Kayla Sharpe. 

“Co-liberatory socialism is based around defeating capitalism in tandem with centering the struggles of marginalized peoples, because BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled and economically disadvantaged struggles are all interconnected, and ending oppressive systems must center these voices the most,” Sharpe said. 

Sharpe mentioned YDS has taken part in the ‘Not MI Campus’ petition — dedicated to fighting the unsafe reopening of campuses and working to ensure effective COVID-19 protections. 

“Regardless if Trump or Biden wins, marginalized folks will still be suffering,” Sharpe said. “Families will be deported, military force will be used against civilians and everyday people will not have access to the resources they need. Electoral politics are for sure one of our tools to fight for equality, but our focus lies in community care and mutual aid. Since elections excite people politically, our hope is to grow our membership regardless of the outcome and keep building towards a socialist future.” 

The College Republicans of Oakland University have been striving to promote their candidate and message, through miniature debates, fundraising, etc. 

“The main goals of our club are getting our conservative candidates elected to public office and trying to spread the conservative message on campus,” said Dylan Pescarolo, president of the OU College Republicans. “The three main issues that motivate us are the pro-life movement, our constitutional rights and preserving capitalism.” 

Pescarolo mentioned College Republicans have been hosting Friday “Action Days” since September, where they generally pick two candidates (potentially a congressional, state representative, among others) to knock on doors, pass out brochures and talk to voters. They also attended the Lansing Trump Rally on Tuesday, Oct. 27. 

To learn more about Pi Sigma Alpha, YDS, or the College Republicans of Oakland University, check out GrizzOrgs or connect with them on Facebook.