There were simply too many advocacy trips this semester to make a separate event for each! GUCD's advocacy teams traveled to Capitol Hill to lobby for a wide variety of issues - from student loans to LGBTQ equality. We had the amazing opportunity to meet with Congressional staff (and often Congresspeople themselves) and talk with them about the issues we care about. Going to school in DC is really great!
Hoyas for Immigrant Rights held a roundtable on immigration issues and invited both GUCD and GUCR. Members of all three organizations met to discuss what had become a central issue of the 2016 Presidential election. The discussion was fruitful (as was the pizza), and it was very interesting to hear perspectives from both sides of the aisle. Everyone went home with new knowledge of the complex issue.
The Institute of Politics and Public Service hosted another primary watch party - this one for Super Tuesday. This was the final IPPS watch party of the semester. GUCD and GUCR were invited to watch as results came in from more than a dozen states. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won clear victories on Super Tuesday, cementing their roles as the clear frontrunners in the primary race.
As our first Congressional speaker of the new semester, congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) from Queens came to Georgetown to talk to the College Dems and the Asian American Student Association. Congresswoman Meng touched on a wide variety of topics, including her career path, her legislative goals, and the challenge of working in Congress as a parent. A reception followed shortly thereafter.
This February, money is speech. As a fundraiser, members bought our delicious chocolate chip cookies and registered their support for one of the Democratic candidates. Bernie and Hillary ended the fierce competition for supporters and cookies in a tie. Joel Biden had a few fans as well.
Valentine's Day became even more delicious this year when GUCD held a candygram fundraiser! The cards included cute puns featuring some of our favorite Democrats, and they included a blow pop for the recipient's enjoyment.
The day after GUCD's Bernie/Hillary Debate, Georgetown's Institute of Politics and Public Service hosted a watch party for New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary. GUCD and GUCR both attended to see how their candidates would fare in the second contest of the primary season. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders walked away with yuge wins that would propel them toward the contests in Nevada and South Carolina.
The day before the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary, GUCD invited Hoyas for Hillary and Hoyas for Bernie to a roundtable on the Democratic candidates. Pizza was eaten, and passionate political discussion was had! We had a very productive talk on the pros and cons of each candidate and how to advance Democratic ideals going forward.
With primary season in full swing and the Iowa caucuses mere days away, many of us found ourselves wondering just what a caucus is. Georgetown's very own Institute of Politics and Public Service provided us with an answer! GUCD participated in IPPS' mockus - a mock Democratic caucus run exactly like those in Iowa. The mockus allocated nine mock delegates: eight for Hillary and one for Bernie.
On November 19th, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) came to Gaston Hall to give a major speech on his political philosophy of democratic socialism and his vision for the future of America. The speech was reported on by many major media outlets, and beforehand GUCD got our turn with the Bern. #bernieatgu
On Friday November 6th, GUCD hosted a fundraiser in Red Square. For $1, members of the club and board volunteered to have whipped cream and shaving cream pies thrown in their face. While the event certainly was messier than anticipated, everyone seemed to enjoy it and we were able to make some money to be used for future events. Thanks to everyone who participated, whether you were the thrower or the innocent victim.
On Tuesday October 27th, members of GUCD came out to argue over the merit of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The event began with a discussion of free trade and the TPP in general before moving into the specifics of the deal. There was lively debate over whether the TPP offered enough protection for low-income workers in the US, as well as general agreement over the IP protections and the hope to increase working standards across the Pacific. We concluded by looking at the national security and geo-political consequences. Thanks to everyone who attended and sorry that the pizza was a little bit late.
On Wednesday, October 21st, the College Dems, NAACP, and College Republicans collaborated to put on a Jeopardy! game night. It provided a great opportunity for everyone to get together and have a fun time, regardless of political affiliation. We had lots of great food, including Wingos, cookies, and other snacks. Each person was placed on a team that was assigned randomly, allowing for members of different groups to get to know one another. There was also voter registration offered to anyone not currently registered. The Jeopardy itself asked questions about politics, governmental process, and NAACP history. The event was a great success that hopefully we can hold again.
GUCD and GUCR faced off in their annual Homecoming football matchup. After receiving some inspirational pre-game speeches and pep-talks from coach Matt Gregory, the College Dems came to play. Although the game initially appeared evenly matched, GUCD began to pull away in the second half before ultimately prevailing in a 7-4 affair. Special thanks to our supporters and fans, who came out with signs to watch our victory. The team gave everything they had and with pride for the liberal cause.
As Vince Lombardi said “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”
Georgetown College Democrats, along with the Georgetown Institute for Politics and Public Service, hosted a viewing of the first Democratic Primary debate on October 13th. The event was held in the Great Room of the Healy Family Student center, and students were almost literally crawling the walls to get a look at the candidates. Mo Elleithee, the director of the IPPS, moderated the event and, during breaks would ask the audience and specific groups questions about the candidates performances, like asking Bernie Sanders ‘s supporters if they thought he was tough enough on gun control reform or Hillary Clinton’s supporters about her Iraq response.
In addition to simply viewing the debate, attendees got a change to Skype in with IPPS fellow Brianna Keiler, a CNN Senior Political Correspondent, who was at the debate site in Las Vegas. She took everybody back stage, and showed us conversations between each candidate’s advisors and the ‘spin rooms’, where staffers try and promote each candidate. Overall, it was a unique experience and a great start to the Democratic primary season.
On Thursday, October 8th College Democrats members Jasmin Ouseph, Grant Olson and Alex Coopersmith debated against their freshman counterparts from the College Republicans. The debate was moderated by Government Professor Thomas Kerch and dealt with social issues, economic issues, and foreign policy. Although the event got a little testy at points and there was perhaps more audience involvement than anticipated, it was a great opportunity to once again showcase the differences between the two political parties and the philosophies that drive them. There was no formal winner for the debate, but the resounding opinion of College Democrats members was that their debaters had prevailed.
The Georgetown College Democrats held their first roundtable of the semester, discussing issues related to campaign and elections, such as campaign finance reforms, gerrymandering and voter ID legislation. Over pizza and ginger ale, student from College Democrats, along with some unaffiliated students debated the issues, getting to specifics like the legality and ethicality of the Citizen’s United decision and the applicability of the First Amendment to money.
Like most political scientist and politicians, the students realized that there was no clear answer to the question; and no clear brightline for when money-driven political speech moves into egregious campaign spending. However, the event showcased many diverse viewpoints and left its attendees with some thought-provoking questions.
On Tuesday September 29th, Planned Parenthood's national Pink Out Day, College Dems organized a rally in Red Square. This included photo campaign in which students took pictures holding signs showing support for Planned Parenthood. The pictures were subsequently posted on social media. The goal was to show our support for an organization that has put reproductive health first since 1916. The rally also showed the importance of Planned Parenthood to a wide variety of socio-economic demographics. You can read more in this Hoya article.
This September, when Pope Francis came to Washington, women from around the country welcomed him and echoed his message of dignity for migrants. 100 women, walking 100 miles from a detention center in Pennsylvania to Washington, DC, carried their stories and hopes as immigrant women in the US.
GUCD joined Hoyas for Immigrant Rights as we hosted our own pilgrimage from Georgetown to the final destination of the women's pilgrimage at McPherson square (just near the White House) Georgetown students, faculty, and staff were all welcome and we had a great showing.