Club Profile: Democracy Matters

By Billie Kanfer '16, Features Editor 946022_414869128614628_1751345918_n

It has been brought up time and again that Skidmore students do not care about politics. After this past midterm election, the data showed that (although absentee ballots were not accounted for) approximately 20 percent of the study body voted at Skidmore on election day. The total percentage is certainly higher considering absentee ballots(This statistic for which could not be found). Still, a club at Skidmore has taken the initiative to change this ambivalence for politics. Democracy Matters is a club that began last year and currently has seven avid members. Meeting every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. in Bolton 282, the club strives to “make the campus more politically engaged and interested in money and politics," secretary James Rider ’16 said. Democracy Matters is led by Cara Cancelmo ’16, Rachel Castellano ’16, and Elena Veatch ’16.

Rider finds that the club is “small but strong.” They are a non-partisan club and don’t care what side you sway towards. They want to increase membership and hope to do so by informing the student body that they aren't exclusive solely to those active in politics. As Rider states, “the E-Board wants to teach but they’re also learning alongside each other.”

Democracy Matters recently participated in ConsentFest where they distributed politics-related condoms that read, “don’t get screwed by politicians.” Recently they have also put up posters around campus to promote awareness of their club and the notion that they are open to anyone on campus who has the urge to make a difference. Democracy Matters wants students to become involved because, where money influences politics so heavily, only the collective voice can create change. As Rider quotes the line perhaps made famous by the West Wing, “decisions are made by those who show up.” When asked what he thinks of the student involvement with politics on campus, Rider answered, “people are disengaged because they don’t think what they say matters.” However, He begs to differ, believing that “students need to care.”

Democracy Matters encouraged voter registration this past election and made short video clips which are posted on the Government department's website and Facebook. They will host a movie screening of Pay 2 Play on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m. in Emerson Auditorium. The documentary follows filmmaker John Ennis on his quest to find a way out from under the Pay 2 Play System (a system where Politicians reward their donors with large sums from the public treasury). They encourage any and everyone to attend, as there will be refreshments and a great movie to watch!

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