Western Washington University YDSA
WWU YDSA is growing steadily throughout this year! After just beginning in April 2018, our most recent meeting in October had 27 attendees! We are so excited to be canvassing for Bernie Sanders almost every weekend, having knocked on over 200 doors so far. Our members have done a ton of volunteer work on the Chanan Suarez for Bellingham City Council campaign, endorsed by national DSA. We work closely with the club Shred The Contract to remove Aramark from our campus by the end of 2019. We hope to either switch to self operated dining like the rest of the public universities in Washington, or unionize the dining staff. Some upcoming events we have planned are a Democratic Debate watch party, a co-hosted event with Planned Parenthood club, and hopefully bringing the leftist radio host David Balsamian to speak at our campus! We are ready to bring socialism to Bellingham!
YDSA at University of Virginia
Since the semester started, YDSA at UVA has been focused on growing members by campaigning for popular demands. Early on, we set goals for both the number of contacts and the number of active members (defined as those voting at our monthly general meetings) that we want to have by the end of the semester. Since then, we’ve tabled almost every week, on multiple days most weeks. When people have attended two events, we reach out to them and have tried to do one-on-ones to ask if they’d like to be more involved. Some of our members canvassed for the DSA-endorsed candidate for Charlottesville city council, Michael Payne, who won a seat a few days ago. Recently, we launched a College for All campaign, which has the first goal of keeping the cost of attending UVA the same next year. We’ve gathered hundreds of signatures for a petition that emails all of the members of the Board of Visitors and the University president.
YDSA Georgia Tech
One of YDSA GT’s campaigns for the fall semester was waging a campaign to open institute attendance to undocumented students. Georgia, through its Board of Regents Policy 4.1.6, is one of the only states in the US to outright ban undocumented students from higher education. As such, we worked to educate the student body on the particularly reactionary nature of this ban. Beginning the semester with nearly 20 attendees to our meetings, the campaign committee conducted and compiled research on the ban and Georgia’s education governance, ran a publicity campaign, hosted a self-run teach-in and an educational talk by Freedom University (a freedom school for undocumented students), and got our student government to pass a resolution calling for ban to be rescinded.
YDSA at the University of New Hampshire
Lecturers at our university have been working without contract for over 800 days. They make up around 25% of the university population but taught around 50% of classes. We stood in solidarity to protect our lecturers in accordance with the retention, diversity, and social justice that the University of New Hampshire champions. Over the years, the university gutted lecturers and will now let go of many beloved Japanese professors. Enough is enough. Through an aggressive group effort through petitions, letters to the Dean, and lecturer meetings, we culminated our efforts in a rally of around 50 people to give testimonies regarding lecturer cuts and and show general support for our professors.
Kent State YDSA
This fall, Kent State YDSA has renewed our movement to fight for a 15 dollar an hour minimum wage on campus. In previous years, KSU YDSA has supported this movement along with other groups, mainly the University Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). Previously, the fight for 15 campaign had made notable achievements, such as changing work contracts so that uniforms were not paid for out of student workers’ paychecks. This year however, KSU YDSA has decided to take a lead role in organizing the fight for 15 movement. This past fall, DSA members attended organizing training, as well as begun tabling for student worker rights. KSU YDSA plans on contacting other local unions, leftist organizations, and local politicians to support our effort. It is important for us as socialists to recognize that our colleges are not only institutions of academia, but are unfortunately institutions whose primary goal is to seek profit. We must hold our universities accountable to the student body, and demand better working conditions, and better wages.
Last August in Charlottesville, Virginia, KKK members, neo-nazis, and the “alt-right” showed up to protest the removal of Confederate statues. One of these white supremacists purposefully drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, injuring 19 people and killing one, Heather Heyer. YDSA Bloomington organized a march in response before classes had even begun, to stand in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville. Hundreds of people, including students and other community members, marched to show the incoming class of freshman at IU that white supremacy and neo-Nazism would not be tolerated.
Yale Democratic Socialists
New Haven, CT
In September, Yale Democratic Socialists worked with coalition partners to put on a dance party to raise funds for DACA renewals. Not only did they raise over $3,500 (enough to fund seven DACA renewals) but they also were able to then mobilize students to put their bodies on the line in an act of civil disobedience that successfully prevented ICE from deporting a local family. Five Yale students were among a group of 36 who physically blocked ICE agents from entering a family’s home until a New York judge granted the family a stay.
Hays High School YDSA
YDSA is not only active on college campuses – we also have some incredible high school chapters! Hays YDSA in Buda, TX helped organize a walkout of over 250 students as part of the national March for Our Lives mobilization. They also raised hundreds of dollars for the victims of the Parkland shooting by selling YDSA buttons.
Wake Forest University YDSA
In North Carolina, Wake Forest YDSA students worked with community partners to form the Winston Against Structural Violence Coalition to educate, agitate, and organize for justice in the wake of a police murder of an unarmed Black man. Wake Forest YDSA has mobilized for die-ins, packed courtrooms, protested and met with city councilmembers to demand police accountability and justice for Edward McCrae.
New York University YDSA
New York, NY
In February, New York University’s YDSA chapter canvassed in public housing projects in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan to mobilize around universal health care —Medicare For All. Residents were able to vocalize the massive burden that our for-profit medical system has had on their lives. Canvassers, in turn, shared DSA’s vision for what a truly just health care system might look like.
UTC Young Democratic Socialists
The YDSA chapter at UT Chattanooga held an anti-fascism event in the wake of several attempts by various far-right groups to organize on their campus. Students speak on the fascist presence on campus, the far-right groups in the area, and how to identify them. The chair of the local DSA chapter spoke on the fascism the state already engages in, including ICE, police brutality, and imperialism.