YDS Makes a Big Impact on Campuses in the Spring

The Young Democratic Socialists have grown from roughly a dozen chapters at the beginning of the school year to over forty groups around the country today. YDS is now one of the premier progressive national campus organizations - on par in strength with historic allies such as United Students Against Sweatshops and United States Student Association. 

Georgetown University | Washington DC

Georgetown YDS was only recognized  as an official chapter this semester but has hit the ground running organizing both locally and nationally actions and events. On campus, they have been working with other student groups around campaigns like GU Divest, demanding that Georgetown divest from the fossil fuel industry and organizing with graduate student workers to form a union. Nationally, GU-YDS has been working hard to organize a formal debate between YDS and Turning Point USA, a national conservative student organization working under that tagline “Socialism Sucks”. Their Executive Director and founder, Charlie Kirk, campaigned for Donald Trump and a regular columnist for Breitbart shall debate Ryan Mosgrove, the national organizer of the Young Democratic Socialists.

University of Oregon | Eugene OR

The University of Oregon YDS group came out of their campus’ Students for Bernie group. After that campaign, they reorganized as a YDS chapter and have been one of the most active in the country ever since. UOYDS has put an emphasis on outreach and development. They have coordinated with other groups in the area to hold non-violent resistance trainings for their members as well as doing a training on a “Elevator Pitch for Socialism” to get their members more comfortable talking with other people about democratic socialism. They are also working with DSA chapters in the area in Eugene and Portland to help add structure during their formation. The co-chair for UOYDS, Elania Collusi, recently spoke at the YDS national conference, “Igniting the Socialist Resistance”, in Brooklyn, NY in February.

Princeton University | Princeton NJ

YDS Princeton at their club activities fair, March 2017

Princeton YDS was one of the first chapters that organized after the flood of members DSA encountered after Trump’s election. They grew out of Central New Jersey DSA. Princeton YDS has been organizing around a few key campaigns. After tropical storm Stella hit New Jersey, dining hall workers at Princeton had to sleep in the stairwells of the building overnight. They have been organizing with SEIU Local 175 for adequate and humane accommodation for campus workers as well overtime compensation. They have also been working with campus groups to divest Princeton from private prisons. They have also organized alternative campus tours emphasizing the schools radical history.

Wesleyan University | Middletown CT

Wesleyan Democratic Socialists demonstrating in support of Standing Rock, January 2017

Wesleyan Democratic Socialists has been working hard to build the resistance under the Trump administration, and they’ve focused their work among the most vulnerable. They have built connections with immigrant rights organizations in the New Haven, CT area. They are working with organizations like Cosecha to build for demonstrations and workplace walkouts on May Day. They have also organizing for accessibility among the deaf. They also united with Fossil Fuel Divest and CT Stands with Standing Rock to demonstrate against Trump’s executive order to fast track the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Oklahoma University | Norman OK

Packed house for the OU-YDS General Meeting, January 2017

Oklahoma University YDS is one of the few groups within YDS, or even in the socialist left generally, that is growing at a conservative school in a conservative state. OU-YDS has put activism, organizing, and education front and center. They made a splash at the start of the semester by holding a protest against the inauguration of Trump on January 20th, in solidarity with protest taking place across the country. Since then they have kept that inertia going by holding regular meetings which have become a hub for progressive activism across campus and one of the few poles of attraction for left political action in a political climate that has been hostile to students and workers organizing for change.

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