Since the election of New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the U.S. House of Representatives, you might have been hearing the term “democratic socialist”. But do you know what the Democratic Socialists of America represent?
“Democratic socialists are, as it implies, socialist in nature with a strong emphasis in democracy and voting,” said Diego Mendiola, the leader of the new Utah State University chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America. “Rather than a top-down system of government, it’s more from the bottom-up with people deciding governmental roles and the like.”
Before the approval of the club, politically minded USU students had the option of joining the conservative Young Americans for Freedom, or the centrist College Democrats and College Republicans. The USU Young Democratic Socialists of America represents the only far-left USU student association-approved club on campus.
“I thought there was a need for more political diversity on campus and in general in the community,” Mendiola said. “I think there are a lot of young people that think like us and see that their government isn’t really representing them or looking out for them. I think that it’s really important for us to participate in the government. Young people don’t vote, basically, because they feel disenfranchised. So, I think adding this chapter can give people an opportunity to voice their opinions and their priorities in a more active way.”
A major goal for the club is increasing political engagement. Mendiola invites anyone from any area of the ideological spectrum to come to club meetings held on the USU Logan campus.