Spotlight on political organizations • The Tulane Hullabaloo

Anh Nguyen | Staff artist

With the growing polarization of American politics, political science experts say college campuses are increasingly targeting students to get them to vote. First-year students are finally of voting age and students are starting to shape their political identities. Some students say that the political organizations on the Tulane campus provide a place for students to explore their political ideas.

Women in politics

Women in Politics is a non-partisan organization that aims to encourage women to participate in politics both on and off campus. Since WIP is a Newcomb group, this club focuses on discussing politics through a gender lens.

WIP participants are active on campus but do most of their work with local groups in New Orleans, such as Emerging Louisiana. Some members have also completed internships for these organizations.

Members are active in volunteering for campaigns across the region. On campus, WIP partners with other groups to host events, such as the Congress Panel which was held on September 23.

WIP President Bronte Foley highlighted the importance of women-centered political groups and the effects they can have on young women. According to Foley, the organization is working to change the political structure of society and give more roles to women in politics.

“The structure of government is inherently male and forces its female, non-binary participants to function in an environment that has been built to keep them out,” Foley said. “Women-centered political organizations allow women to collaborate and ultimately influence these structures. “

Young Americans for Freedom

Young Americans for Liberty is also one of the non-partisan political organizations on campus, but their views tend to lean toward libertarianism. Their mission is simple: to promote the ideas of civil and economic freedom.

YAL members meet once a week to work on filing campaigns and discussing policy. Each month ends with a wrap-up event to summarize the issue that focuses on that month. The September issue is criminal justice reform and will be presenting a panel on September 24 at Jones Hall.

YAL vice president Rachel Altman said political organizations on campus serve to get students to think about issues they might not otherwise have.

“It’s important that people have a realistic understanding of what different points of view mean,” Altman said.

College Democrats

College Democrats is one of two political organizations on campus that is affiliated with a mainstream party. According to Democratic College President Henry Walther, the club has two main goals: to uphold progressive ideals on campus and to enable students to get involved in both local New Orleans politics and national politics.

On campus, members of this organization lobby politicians both locally and nationally to make their voices heard. Off-campus, students participate in partisan and non-partisan races on behalf of progressive candidates and work with local advocacy groups such as the New Orleans Abortion Fund.

Walther said he took advantage of the networking opportunities available to him through College Democrats.

“Finding other students who not only share my political views but really want to do something to see them play in the real world has been something that has really inspired me,” Walther said.

College Republicans

College Republicans is the other mainstream party affiliate organization on campus. President Leland van Deventer said the group strives to develop strong relationships between politicians and students.

College Republicans also strive to provide career advancement opportunities for their members. Off-campus, members participate in internship opportunities at Congress offices and think tanks. The club meets twice a month to discuss the current political climate and help sponsor various speakers and events on campus.

Van Deventer said political organizations like College Republicans help foster a wide range of opinions on the Tulane campus.

“In terms of public discourse, these same organizations… are helping to promote a more academically and philosophically diverse public discourse environment here at Tulane,” said van Deventer.

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