Reincarnation of the democratic club on Dixie State University’s campus is right around the corner.
DSU College Democrats will be the name of a soon-to-be-chartered club that will become the yin to DSU College Republicans’ yang.
Nicole Gregory, a sophomore general education major from St. George and the future president of the club, said the club will offer DSU students resources to help them determine the party they most closely relate to.
She said she recently met with a student who identified as a republican but was actually siding with the progressives on the majority of issues they discussed.
“People need to start realizing that there’s an identity away from their parents,” Gregory said. “You’re in college. This is the time to be developing that identity.”
Parental influence makes students believe they belong in a certain party, said Cameron Carlson, a sophomore integrated studies major from Bountiful and the future vice president of the club. He said millennials often find they have a lot more liberal views, even here in Washington County.
Progressive and liberal are the two “softer” terms used in place of Democrat, said Washington County Democratic Chair Zachary Almaguer.
“Democrat is a dirty word in Washington County,” Almaguer said. “Some people feel much more comfortable wearing the word liberal or progressive. What they don’t realize is they are a Democrat. They just haven’t come out and said it yet.”
Almaguer said he challenges the assertion that DSU’s student body is predominantly Republican. He said, despite the conservative backgrounds, students’ interests are likely to line up with the Democratic philosophy if students become well informed on the issues of politics.
“I wouldn’t label [DSU students] as republican,” Almaguer said. “I would label them as apathetic, uninterested or even unknowing.”
DSU College Democrats are inviting all students, regardless of their current political views, to reach out to the club via their Facebook page and future OrgSync page.
“We do want to encourage people to try to understand more about themselves with politics,” said Sassra Dobson, a freshman criminal justice major from Park City.
The club members welcome new opinions and are always open to political discussions, Gregory said.
“This is a club that’s inclusive,” Carlson said. “That’s the Democratic Party — they are definitely more inclusive.”
In addition to raising awareness about the political issues, protecting the democratic views, and perpetuating the liberal ideas and message, the members of the DSU College Democrats will raise awareness about environmental issues.
“We’d like to be a leading example in the community for the environmental issues,” Carlson said.
Almaguer said the club will receive funding from the campaigns and the Democratic Party. He said the students will decide the direction of the club, for Democrats always encourage autonomy.
“I’m kind of interested just to light this rocket and see how high it’ll fly,” he said.
And the club is “planning on hitting Mars,” Gregory said.