With the 2016 election ramping up, students are becoming more invested in getting their peers more informed and active. One of these groups is MSU Students for Bernie Sanders. Their goal is to get students more politically active within the community, as well as dispel misinformation and political rumors that have been circulating lately.
As with any group in support of a specific candidate, they are obviously going to be biased. However, the entire Bernie campaign is about cutting the closed-mindedness out of politics in favor of a system that will help all Americans. He plans on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour for college students, providing affordable healthcare for everyone, defending women’s and LGBT rights, and most importantly, making college free for everyone. All of these reforms will help students to prepare for the future with less of the social or financial burdens modern society puts on them.
Unlike many candidates, he isn’t doing this to be popular or garner votes; he is doing this because it is actually what he believes in. Bernie isn’t about playing political games, and his voting record backs up his firm support for all of these ideas going back before he ever even became a Congressman. He has consistently voted on huge issues, like his stance against capital punishment, maintaining Social Security and breaking up big banks.
Bernie has become something of a political underdog, with his refusal to use Super PACs to fund his campaign, as he firmly believes in taking corporate money out of politics. He is running a true grassroots campaign, raising over $26 million dollars in small donations and using that as his primary campaign funding.
Amongst college students, Bernie is giving people, who might not feel like they’ve ever had a politician have their back someone to root for. In the MSU student poll from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 27 percent of those polled were in support of Sanders, which is more than twice as much the next highest democratic candidate, and over four times higher than that of the highest republican candidate. At Catapolooza, MSU Students for Bernie Sanders received almost 200 email addresses of people interested.
Students for Bernie Sanders plans on holding events to get students more interested in politics, and explaining why Bernie is going to be the best candidate for not just students, but America. Having a politically informed campus will allow students to more reasonably understand political issues, see through all the smoke and noise, and come to a better conclusion about what will benefit them and others the most, politically.
These students are also collaborating with Montanans for Bernie Sanders by helping coordinate events to get people interested. On the 13th, they are holding a live-screening of the Democratic National Debate, being held for all ages at Bar IX. People of all parties are invited, and it will work as an open-forum for political discussion. More information about their events can be found on facebook.com/berniemsu.
This is all just the club getting warmed up, though. As the elections get closer and closer, they are going to become more and more active in the community, eventually going door to door handing out information and getting students to register to vote. They believe that all students should be accurately informed on the issues, and they are trying more ways to get students interested.
Even if you aren’t a Bernie supporter, I’d encourage you to talk to members of this club and those like it. The more informed we are as a whole, the better we will function as a democracy, and the more fairly everyone will be represented, and it will make MSU and this country a better place to live in for all of us.