This past semester, a group of professors and students came forward to speak out about their views and beliefs and restarted the Young Democrats after many years of inactivity.
The group first came to light around the 70’s. Associate professor of English and club sponsor Katherine Dillion was a member of the group in 1974 when it only consisted of three members.
“I wanted students to have a place to voice an alternate view to what we were seeing in the current Trump administration,” Dillion said. “So many of us are disturbed by what happened in the last election and want to do something about it at a local level.”
There are currently 50 people on the Facebook page, 30 of them identifying as members, while many others are interested. The Young Democrats strive to give an open voice to all Harding students and help them have a place here on campus.
“As a liberal Harding student, I never felt that I had a place on campus,” junior vice president Will Hagerman said. “Slowly, I began to find like-minded individuals who embrace liberalism and Christianity.”
The members of Harding Young Democrats intend to start the 2017 fall semester by having a membership drive and adding incoming freshman to the group. In addition to membership drives, they also plan on working with Harding Young Republicans in pursuit of allowing students to have a voice, no matter what they believe.
“This is a very relaxed group and extremely welcoming and open to the views that people have on campus,” senior Morgan Draper said. “We have heard the concerns of the students, and we want students to know that though Harding is known for being more conservative-leaning, this is a safe place for conversation, and there is another voice out there. We are here not only to listen, but to give support to a view that is often hidden away.”
One of the group’s major goals is to become more involved in the Harding community. With hashtags being so popular in today’s culture, the Harding Young Democrats are using one of their own to spread the word about their club. They are using the hashtag #breakthestigma to inform Harding students that it is possible to be liberal or Democrat and still be a Christian.
“We hope to be a strong organizational presence on campus to represent another view than the current U.S. administration represents,” Dillion said. “We want to stand up for the rights of the underrepresented and model an example of decency, fairness, and intellectual engagement with the issues.”
To get more involved with Young Democrats, you can join their Facebook page Young Democrats at Harding University or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Harding Young Democrats welcome all to come join them at their meetings this fall.