Columns, Opinion

Campus Cognition: A dive into Splash’s student-based political groups

The sense of cohesive spirit and passion that a campus like Boston University exudes during the first few weeks of its semesters can be simultaneously exhilarating and daunting for any student, especially a newcomer. Splash is a huge catalyst for student involvement, and the perfect time to use the excitement around arriving on campus by exploring new opportunities.

Within Splash are a staggering number of student groups encompassing an array of interests, and often the groups present at Splash are those that foster the strongest and most passionate presence on campus.

Political clubs and organizations make up a number of these passionate groups, each lined up Saturday on Nickerson Field with a specific goal, different from many of the other clubs around them. Unlike a casual group centered simply around making new friends with the same interests, political groups on campus carry an agenda of avocation and change.

Splash can be especially useful for students looking to foster their political ideology and go from perhaps a basic party affiliation to advocating for certain causes. Kansas State University found that College-age kids are more politically active than any other age group, and combined with the comfort of belonging to a group that shares similar views, joining campus political groups can end up being a big part of a student’s experience on campus. 

One group that stands out in the BU political sphere is the Young Democratic Socialists of America. Their current stance is undoubtedly the best example of what it means to be a provocative presence in politics, something YDSA member Anu Sawhne, a senior in CAS, knows well. 

“The atmosphere around campus ranges from apathetic to slightly liberal, which are factors created by a combination of both capitalism and the neo-liberal institution,” Sawhney said. “This just gives us the incentive to work harder as a group to push the student body a little further.”

Though the YDSA takes their stance on today’s world in stride, other groups — such as the College Republicans — have a different idea of what it means to be politically active today. 

Instead of aiming towards a revolutionary future, the representatives for the right-leaning presence at BU have declared their stance by establishing the validity of both sides of the political spectrum. 

Mika Astono, a junior in CAS and one of two representatives for the College Republicans present at Splash, outlined their stance as a whole.

“Even though many of the issues that both parties disagree on have various facts behind them, we just value different ideals on a basic level,” Astono said. “Both sides to an argument can be correct, but it comes down to which side you feel is more important.”

By sticking around, listening to what both of these groups had to say and evaluating what they both stand for as student-led groups, I have discovered that each side of the political spectrum promotes themselves using wildly different tones.

Going even further than just picking which side of the spectrum you align with based off of a preconceived ideology, these groups can either excite a student with their revolutionary rhetoric, or substantiate talking points that are firmly cemented in the minds of those who believe them. 

YDSA, College Republicans and others like them will be an ever-present mainstay in the grander take on the most crucial year in 21st century politics, given that America has the chance to completely change the course of its history through the upcoming presidential election. Some may be moving much faster and with greater force than others, but they are both aiming for their respective goals. 

The undeniable truth is this: BU is shaping up to be a breeding ground for the politically active to develop charisma and share principles with one another — all in preparation for 2020, which will hold the perspectives of the future in this country.

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