USD’s chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) has started meeting after their formation in February due to the approval of YDSA’s national organization and SGA.
YDSA is a national organization that works toward progressing change through socialist values.
Josh Andrews, president of USD’s YDSA chapter and a political science and history double major, said the group wants to have discussions about topics that “everyone can agree on.”
“A staple to our meeting is political education. People hear the word socialist and they think bad things usually,” Andrews said. “We’re kind of out to change that.”
The first YDSA meeting was held Thursday evening in the MUC Pit. Andrews said members hope to promote what YDSA stands for, including renters’ rights reform, a $15 minimum wage and planning a “March For Our Lives” in Vermillion.
“What (YDSA) is trying to do with the first general meeting is trying to get our name out there, discuss our ideas, what we want to bring to campus and the community,” Andrews said.
The USD chapter of YDSA’s mission statement says they want to “create a viable and vibrant left alternative for the University of South Dakota campus and community. We are here to empower students to join together and make collective demands for social, political, and economic change.”
Andrews said they have numerous events scheduled for the semester that embody their mission statement.
“We’re tabling in the MUC and we’re holding fundraisers,” Andrews said. “We’re going to other meetings and just talking to other (organizations) such as Sustainability Club, Students for Reproductive Rights (and) College Democrats.”
Samuel Sharpe, a law school student, said that some goals of YDSA are to provide a sense of unity and promote Medicaid expansion for South Dakotans, political education programs, Title IX enforcement, university endowment transparency and college for all people.
“What we want to do is show people how they can come together as a group and actually use their collective political force to make change, instead of just walking into a booth every couple of years,” Sharpe said.
The next meeting for YDSA will be April 12 in the MUC Pit t 5:00 p.m.