Class Struggle in Session – 2019 Winter Conference Program

Friday, February 15

7:00 PM – Welcome, Reception and Icebreaker

Kick off the 2019 Winter Conference with a socialist social! We’ll hear opening remarks from our National Coordinating Committee co-chairs and get to know fellow student organizers. Food and beverages will be served.

Saturday, February 16

8:30 AM – Check in and breakfast

9:00 AM – Opening Remarks and Community Agreements

9:30 AM – Socialists in Office: What would Bernie 2020 mean for YDSA?

Socialists have recently swept elections, dumping neoliberal democrats for a new strand of left-wing politics, but how do we leverage these gains to build our power for the  fight for socialism? How do we prepare for the opportunities and risks of the next two years and run winning campaigns centered around mass demands like college for all, medicare for all, and a green New Deal? And what would a socialist presidential campaign mean for socialists in office, YDSA, and what comes after for our movement.

11:00 AM – Workshop Block 1

Building a Mass Organization

What does a socialist organization look like? How can YDSA build a mass base? And what do ‘program’ and ‘praxis’ mean anyway? You’ll get the answers to these questions and more in this unique-to-DSA workshop.

Organizing a College for All Campaign

This workshop will help deliver hands-on skills, guidance, and answers for members who’s chapters are running a College for All campaign. We’ll review key lessons from the College for All organizing manual, and break winning campaigns down into their most fundamental parts.

Electoral Organizing through 2019 and Beyond

YDSA has a key role to play in electoral politics. In this workshop we’ll talk about what YDSA can bring to electoral campaigns that no one else can, and what we need to do to make socialist politics mainstream by 2020. You’ll leave this workshop with the skills you need to organize for electoral victory on your campus and in your community.

The University and The Organizer

Universities have historically been sites of major political and social change in the United States, and for this reason administrations will not hesitate to crack down on students and workers who dare to challenge the status quo. We created this workshop to help you navigate your way out of the purgatory of university bureaucracy, along with how to strategically pressure your administration for demands.

1:00 PM – Lunch

2:00 PM – Class Struggle in Session

Tuition hikes are class war, and College for All is how we fight back. With student debt standing at a staggering 1.6 trillion dollars and counting, the clock is clicking until crisis. We can and will win free college for all, but only by organizing students to seize power from those who profit from the exploitation of students and campus workers. In this panel we’ll hear from student leaders who organized for power and won, discuss the implications of free college in America, and review YDSA’s national strategy to win College for All.

3:30 PM – Workshop Block 2

The University and the Organizer

Defeating the Far-Right on Campus

Campuses across the country are under siege by the far-right, as they try to use them as recruiting grounds for fascist politics. And as neoliberalism crumbles around us destroying many people’s long established beliefs of society and politics, many turn towards the far right in search of answers. As socialists, we know that another world is possible, and we have a unique role to play in the fight against despair and against fascism, on campus and beyond. In this workshop, we’ll talk about what socialists on campus can do right now to stop the spread of hate and fear on campus and build a  socialist future instead.

Student-Worker Solidarity during the Strike Wave

Student-worker solidarity is vital to socialist victory on campus and everywhere else. That’s why school administrators are committed to preventing us from organizing together and crushing solidarity before it becomes a threat to their power. In this workshop, we’ll talk about how to combat these divisive tactics and build towards real working class unity on campus.

Winning Medicare for All

As the healthcare crisis in America worsens in, what are young socialists on college campuses to do? In this workshop, we’ll be giving a rundown on how to effectively do Medicare For All work within your campus community, whether it’s through Electoral, Labor, or College For All work, or otherwise.

7:00 PM – TBA

Sunday, February 17

9:00 AM – Breakfast

10:00 AM – Workshop Block 3

Building a Mass Organization

Leadership Development and List Work

Organizing a College for All Campaign

Electoral Organizing through 2019 and Beyond

11:30 AM – Fire from the Rank and File

In the last year, apathy has turned into popular class struggle from below as the neoliberal consensus begins to crumble and reveal the contradictions of capital. The labor movement and it’s resurgence has come from none other than the rank-and-file, and with the push into a new realm of politics and response from the capitalist class, participants on this panel will discuss what we should do so as socialists.

1:00 PM – Lunch

2:00 PM – Workshop Block 3

Building a Mass Organization

Leadership Development and List Work

Organizing a College for All Campagin

Electoral Organizing in 2019 and Beyond

3:30 PM – Closing Remarks and Song!

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YDSA is a part of Democratic Socialists of America; membership in YDSA includes membership in DSA. To join, fill out the form on the DSA site, and answer yes to Are a you student interested in starting or joining a campus chapter?

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