Beyond the main parties that shape American politics, a few other associations strive for better visibility at LSU such as that which represents student of color.
We all know that LSU bleeds purple and lives gold, but does it breathe politics? The last presidential election has highlighted how diverse are our opinions and how strong is our democracy. Every day, major networks such as CNN, Fox News and NBC offer political insights on the White House, Congress and Senate affairs. As a state, Louisiana echoes this diversity with a broad range of political parties. We have the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the Libertarian Party but also smaller parties such as the Green Party, the Constitution Party, the Reform Party, the Conservative Party and the Unity Party.
However, when it comes to LSU, few banners are displayed on campus and it is not easy to know which political organizations exist. In a fast-moving nation where new political trends pop up every year, it is important to keep up with politics. Being engaged in a party is a win-win: they get your vote and you fuel them with your ideas. Too little has been done to give enough visibility to political organizations led by LSU students. When one has just graduated from high school and wants to be involved in Politics, it is paramount to have a good overview of what we can find at LSU. If our students are engaged from their freshmen year, they can have an impact and promote ideas that political leaders will then use.
From Democrats to Republicans, multiple political organizations are active at LSU. They want you and you should not be afraid of jumping into the arena. College Republicans of LSU President Clarissa Dumas is an example of a student active in politics and willing to share her experience. She explains that CRLSU “fosters our members into actively engaged citizens” but also “offers them opportunities to get involved in grassroots politics on the local, state, and national setting-including paid internships for the upcoming election season”. In other words, a political organization is not only a platform to voice your ideas, it is also a pathway to an enriching social experience. These associations are a gold mine for those who value service in the community.
On the other side of the political spectrum, Nick Halaby, President of the LSU College Democrats, is a motivated student who emphasizes how important it is to be able to debate: "For me, political conversation plays right into my interests and passions on campus and being a part of the club shows me how political discourse affects the happenings of our every day lives on campus. Being engaged allows one to be not only part of a nationwide network, but to be better involved into one’s University. If one bleed purple and live gold, one should care about the way students are treated on campus."
Beyond the main parties that shape American politics, a few other associations strive for better visibility at LSU such as that which represents student of color. Dee Scott, Vice President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is fond of reminding us how, as a person of color, one could benefit from her organization: “NAACP is the reason I decided to call LSU home. NAACP provided a safe space where I could gather with other minority students to share my experiences and voice my opinion about social, cultural and political issues that directly affected me. It is because of LSU NAACP that I am unapologetically black.” Martiana Beach, NAACP Co-President even adds that “NAACP is the conduit through which my voice is heard. It's a place where social knowledge resides and presents itself in different manners." Even though safe space is a debatable term, such statements should encourage persons of colors to be part of the LSU political experience.
Bailey Drouant, is another example of an active leader one could reach to make one’s LSU experience more rewarding. As president of Turning Point USA, she “met many high profile political leaders and learnt how to make a difference on campus”. Making the difference: this is the leitmotiv shared by every student engaged in a political organization, and perhaps yours, as well. This is obviously what Nicholas A. Foster, president of the Young Americans for Freedom of LSU believes, when he recalls that “YAF has fostered the development of my own political beliefs and helps me feel as though I’m making a difference not just on campus, but in the future of America." Whether you are a fervent conservative or democrat, your political family is not far from you. People are key when it comes to developing a political acumen; Facebook, YouTube or Twitter should not be the only tools one’s uses on a weekly basis. A 15 minute discussion with one of these associations could give one a clearer idea of what they stand for than any internet search. They can sum up for you what they believe in, be a bridge between you and your passion, and provide tremendous resources to help you through your journey at LSU.