A Conversation with the President of UConn College Democrats

(Courtesy/UConn College Democrats)

Members of the University of Connecticut College Democrats are focusing much of their club’s efforts on getting involved with local politics and combating the effects of President Trump’s administration.

“We do a lot of issue work and advocacy in the state of Connecticut. We’ll lobby for bills we believe in,” said seventh-semester political science major and president of the UConn College Democrats Stevie Della-Giustina.

Della-Giustina said that this semester, the group is going to focus on upcoming local and national elections.

“We’re going to be spending a lot of time trying to help Democrats nearby get elected,” Della-Giustina said. “But we were also invited to go down to New Jersey to campaign for their gubernatorial race, and we’ll definitely do some phone banking for Virginia‘s gubernatorial race too.”

Della-Giustina said the club will lobby for issues that affect UConn students as well.

“I can foresee us working with our local representatives to see what we can do to keep tuition costs down [at UConn], so we’ll probably lobby for that,” Della-Giustina said.

Whenever the club doesn’t agree with Trump’s policies, they try to take action against them.

“We’ll usually put out a statement on our Facebook page. We come out against it and see what we can do to combat it through local politics,” Della-Giustina said. “Hopefully we can reach out to activist groups to see what we can get done on campus to resist the Trump agenda.”

He said the UConn College Democrats are now officially registered as a chapter of Indivisible, a group dedicated to political activism and resisting the Trump administration at the local level.

“Groups of political activists have organized through Indivisible and through it have taken actions to resist the Trump agenda in their area,” Della-Giustina said. “They do a lot of great work, and there are hundreds of chapters throughout the country. We have been taking local action with Indivisible Connecticut, which currently has over 3,000 members” he said.

When President Trump removed the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, the College Democrats sent a memo to local representatives and Governor Dannel Malloy, asking them to affirm their commitment to the treaty.

“We, as the College Democrats of the state of Connecticut’s flagship university, urge University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst, Mayor Paul Shapiro and the Town Council of Mansfield, our representatives in the Connecticut General Assembly, and Governor Dan Malloy, as well as others, to join in the fight to reduce the United States’ emissions and pledge our continued work toward that goal,” the memo reads.

The group has a few events planned for the year, including attending Hillary Clinton’s book signing at Wesleyan University in October and possibly hosting a guest speaker later in the year.

“There’s a lot of apathy toward politics on college campuses- especially before Donald Trump was elected- and we’re trying to change that,” he said. “We’re a good group of kids who are trying to put forward a positive vision for the world while also resisting Donald Trump,” he said.

The College Democrats meet on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Union’s room 321.


Gabriella Debenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at gabriella.debenedictis@uconn.edu.