As those who follow Fresh U politics know, this department does its very best to keep our readers up-to-date with the various political activities and news happening on college campuses across the nation. This year alone, Fresh U has covered the election, explored a variety of college political groups and explained numerous hot-topic issues. To continue covering college politics, here's a guide to getting involved with politics on campus.
1. Get Involved with Student Government
While this is hardly the most creative or mind-blowing revelation, student government is open for everyone. You don’t need any political background or any desire to hold a real future position in office. All you need is a love for your campus, the student body and some time. On many campuses, joining student government is the best way to enact change at your school.
2. Go to Club Meetings
This option is often overlooked because many clubs stop actively recruiting near the end of the semester, and it’s easy to be intimidated by these cliquey factions. However, there’s no better time than the beginning of the second semester to hop back on the metaphorical get-involved horse and start looking for a club to join. Besides, they’re not as scary as they seem and they’ll be happy to have you. Politics clubs such as College Democrats or College Republicans can open doors for your potential career in politics, help you get involved in local campaigns or simply allow you to meet people with similar mindsets.
3. Attend Campus Debates
If you don’t have time to commit to a club, keep your eyes peeled for debates. Although they can sometimes be hard to find, debates can be loads of fun. Topics can include anything from national issues to problems specific to your campus. Even if you don’t actively participate, there’s no better way to get involved and keep up with today’s issues. Besides, many chapter groups will offer free food.
4. Take a Political Seminar
As freshmen, we have a cool opportunity not afforded to the upperclassmen: freshman seminars. This classes center on one super-specific topic and follow it throughout the semester. In addition to knocking some gen-eds out of the way and raking in some hours, these classes can be exactly what you need to get politically involved. After all, there’s no better setting to meet people with similar interests and to learn new things.
5. Start Your Own Chapter
Despite all the clubs offered on college campuses, sometimes not all political ideologies are represented. Perhaps you align with an obscure party or you’re particularly passionate about one singular issue. Fortunately, there are national organizations out there for anything and all they want is to get involved on your campus. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these groups and apply for a chapter. Not only is it incredibly easy to start a chapter but it’s also a great resume builder. Also, they will send you free stuff.
6. Start Petitions About Issues You Care About
Afraid of the commitment a chapter would place on you? Don’t hesitate to take it back a step and simply start a petition. Petitions are a great way to get involved in politics, and if you pick a relevant topic, you’ll meet plenty of people willing to help you out. Plus, you're enacting real change for your school and student body, which is the whole goal of campus politics.
7. Join Fresh U Politics
While this may seem like shameless advertising, it’s also an honest offer open to anyone, regardless of major or political affiliation. All you need is a passion for politics and the ability to write a coherent sentence. We would love to have you and your own unique political voice! Even beyond Fresh U Politics, there are many publications looking for college writers to contribute, and it's a great way to inform yourself and develop your beliefs.
All in all, college is the best time of your life to explore new ideologies and find just what it is that you’re truly passionate. Don’t be a bump on a log or just another part of the crowd, get out there and get involved. I promise, it’s much easier than it seems.
Lead Image Credit: carmicheallibrary via Flickr Creative Commons