New Dems Lecture Series
There’s a new game in town as far as partisan-sponsored lecture series go. The Oberlin College Democrats are poised to launch “Victory Lap ’07,” their answer to the OC Republicans’ Ronald Reagan Lecture Series.
This evening, the OC Dems will kick off their new series. Ruy Teixeira, author of the best-selling The Emerging Democratic Majority and co-editor of The Democratic Strategist, will discuss current demographic trends in the progressive movement in light of the sudden democratic majority that emerged after the 2006 elections.
Inspired by the Democratic victories in the 2006 elections, this new lecture series marks a shift in the OC Dems’ involvement on campus. While last semester their activities largely focused on voter registration, phone banks and others related election campaigning, this semester the Dems hope to contribute more to political dialogue on campus.
“We put a lot of effort into the election,” explained Namrata Kolachalam, College junior and OC Dems co-chair, “but we also want to [promote dialogue] about the issues.”
She continued, “Oberlin has such an activist mentality that we want to be able to stay involved and move forward and keep the progressive movement alive.”
“[In the past,] we’ve been frustrated with our relative apathy after an election,” explained College senior and Dems secretary Maxine Kaplan. “We don’t want to lose momentum this time around. We want people to stay enthusiastic about the issues.”
Although the Dems explained that Victory Lap ’07 is not in direct response to the Ronald Reagan Lecture series sponsored by the College Republicans, some commented that they do hope it fosters continued political discussions on campus.
“We need informed debate,” said Brian Pugh, College junior and OC Dems co-chair.
Oberlin College Republicans president and College senior Jonathan Bruno agrees. “I think it will be really helpful to have another series,” Bruno said. “It’ll give people a chance to hear both sides of the story and make up their minds.”
Although both groups are still working out the details, the Dems and Republicans plan to team up before the end of the year to organize a debate on economic policy.
Later in the semester, Victory Lap ’07 will feature Matthew Yglesias, a staff writer for the American Prospect, a popular liberal magazine, who will be discussing American foreign policy. Also on the agenda is talk-show host and former mayor of Cincinnati Jerry Springer.