YDSA Chapter Opens at EHS

YDSA+president+Joshua+Robinson+introduces+club+at+first+meeting.

Mason Kane

YDSA president Joshua Robinson introduces club at first meeting.

Jaelyn Hudson, A&E editor

The Young Democratic Socialists of America welcomed nearly 30 students to their first meeting last Thursday, marking another political club at EHS along with Young Republicans. 

“The turn out we had was amazing. We had 40 people sign up for the club, so I’m really excited to see how the club can continue to grow over the next year,” said senior Sydney Huskey, one of four officers of the club.

Huskey and other EHS student Joshua Robinson began the process of opening a YDSA chapter at EHS this past summer. The club intends to encourage discussion on socialism and the issues that are meaningful both locally and nationally. 

“Some of our more straightforward goals are the promotion of and support for labor organizing, immigration, cancelling student loan debt, and equal access to healthcare…” Huskey said, “…but a large part of the organization is involvement in local issues.” 

Topics like students working minimum wage and the effects of national political divides at a community level were among many of the local issues discussed during the first meeting. 

Huskey and Robinson had been officers of the activism club, which focused on goals with a nonpartisan viewpoint. But they felt YDSA’s political element would prompt a wider discussion of their goals, according to Huskey. 

“There are clubs for people of all political affiliations in the school…” senior Cole Reinking said, “…and I think expanding this range can help get greater understanding for each other throughout the school.”

Though many are excited about YDSA, others believe the club is inappropriate for school. Students have torn down many of the club’s signs, and some people have commented on the club’s Instagram posts. 

“You’re a school. Know your place,” one person commented. “It’s not your job to have any influence on the political leaning or political education of our CHILDREN in OUR community.”

But others, like sophomore Michael Brinker, appreciate the club because it allows more students to learn about and get involved in politics. 

“I see why they [the students] would be mad…” Brinker said, “…but that doesn’t give them the ability to hate on it for just existing. Like, I’m conservative, but I still think it [the club] is reasonable to have.” 

The controversy does not come unexpectedly to the YDSA members, according to Huskey. 

But they use the attention to encourage discussion. And when their posters are torn down, they replace them.

“Constantly defending your beliefs gets tiresome…” Huskey said, “…but I think the misconceptions surrounding YDSA and Democratic Socialism provide amazing opportunities to educate others.”