Letter to the Editor: College Democrats is necessary

Dwayne Fontenette Jr.

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During the final stage of the (absurdly long) SGA club charter review process last fall, I stood before the SGA Senate to explain and defend the need for the College Democrats. Some senators expressed concern that the existence of this club would polarize the campus or cause controversy.

A number of senators came to our defense, and ultimately our charter was approved; however, it seems the concern was not quelled, as a senator was quoted in the Maroon in November expressing concerns about feared controversy.

Fear of controversy should not be a justifiable reason to oppose club charter approval; rather, we should evaluate clubs on their added value to the university.

The College Democrats will enrich our campus by enabling students to collectively contribute to Democratic campaigns via student volunteering, to represent a liberal agenda on campus and to engage the student body in the democratic process.

Students are not immune to the policies established by elected and appointed government officials in this parish, state and country. In fact, on a campus wherein more than half of the student body receives federal financial aid, common sense indicates that we should be active participants in debates regarding changes to federal work-study and student loan rates, at a minimum. Financial aid policies directly affect Loyola students, as do health care, LGBT equality and abortion rights policies, among others. Other topics that may not affect us now, including tax reform, education reform and social security reform, will affect us down the road. And we should not skirt our constitutionally protected duties as citizens to participate in public debates of these contemporary issues on the grounds that discussing them may make some among us uncomfortable.

The College Democrats will not avoid controversial issues; these issues need to be discussed and debated, because in doing so we will be challenged and enlightened. We will, however, strive to remain above the unproductive, vitriolic fray that often consumes our national media and taints observers’ views on politics in this country.

Politics are consequential. Fortunately, the majority of our SGA senators recognized that and voted in favor of enabling our community to collectively participate in the political discourse that affects each and every one of us.

Now if only the Republicans on campus would organize and join the debate.


Dwayne Fontenette Jr.

President, College Democrats

Mass communication senior 

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