BY IVAN FLORES
In the Political Science Club at Washtenaw Community College, half a dozen members stand together to fight political apathy, according to the club’s bylaws, by promoting a general understanding of politics and encouraging students to vote.
The PSC is a place for people with wide ranging interests to come together and explore the role politics play in everyday life, and then to take an active part in the process. The club participates in local campaigns, raises awareness for environmental issues and helps register voters.
Last year, they started the Green Fund Initiative to redesign the recycling bins in the Student Center to make waste collection more environmentally friendly. They collected 2,400 signatures and presented the issue to the board of trustees. The measure was approved and is currently awaiting implementation.
The PSC practices a democratic process. After key members graduated, a new president, Rosie Van Alsburg; vice president, Joe Chapman; marketing director, Nick McLellan; and recruiter, Hunter Muirhead were elected to fill the roles. During a recent meeting, the club ratified its bylaws, which explicitly state the club’s purpose and rules. They also swore in all of the newly elected officers.
They will continue to participate in Constitution Day, a voter registration drive and Voter Registration Day. Muirhead, 19, explained the importance of the PSC’s outreach:
“(Politics) affect the way we operate society. I want people to understand the system,” Muirhead said.
Their efforts will be particularly important as the 2016 election approaches. In the wake of the 2012 election, a Politico article directly attributed Barack Obama’s victory to the youth vote. Young, educated and active voters will make a difference again in November of next year.
For the members of PSC, being part of the club isn’t just about politics. It’s about forming new friendships, sharing interests and embracing diversity.
McLellan said, “Everyone is passionate about something, and I like that.”
Last May, the PSC took a trip to Washington D.C. to attend a political science convention. The club met with counterparts from across the country, saw the national monuments, and met with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. It was a learning and bonding experience in more than one way; after spending 20 hours in a van, they got to learn a lot about each other.
“It was incredible… We’re all growing and learning together, and we’re all just trying to find a way to make the world a better place,” said 16-year-old Van Alsburg.