New Hurst Dems club helps with local campaigning

Zach Dumais, Contributing Writer

The 2020 Presidential Election is less than 40 days away, so it is no surprise that the Mercyhurst students are contributing their time and skills to the political scene.

One of the new and exciting political developments in the Mercyhurst community is the College Democrats of Mercyhurst University.

The club was started this academic year because the founders wanted to provide every student with the opportunity to act on their political views. There is a College Republicans club at Mercyhurst, but there was nothing for students at the other end of the political spectrum.

“Equal representation is absolutely necessary” outreach coordinator, Doug Wilsch, said. He said it would be disproportionate if only one side of the American political system was represented at Mercyhurst. The club is already very involved in the Erie political landscape despite just beginning this semester.

The club volunteers every weekend with local Erie campaigns such as those Democrats Ryan Bizzarro and Kristy Gnibus. The club helped the campaigns by handing out literature and doing phone calling.

They also recently held a Zoom event with the Penn State-Behrend Dems Club and Gnibus to allow students the opportunity to ask the candidate questions about being involved in politics.

The Hurst Dems are already making strides and coming up with their own events as well. They held a debate watch party on Sept. 29 in Hirt, to watch the first debate between presidential nominees Joe Biden and incumbent Donald Trump.

In addition to volunteering in person every weekend, they are also looking into virtual opportunities with the various campaigns.

According to Wilsch, the goals of the Hurst Dems are very clear. He stated their goals as to “1. Aid, 2. Build and 3. Engage.”

“Our organizational goals are to aid Democratic candidates in the Erie community, build a strong coalition on campus and engage students in a lasting organization.”

He hopes that the club will be able to continue long after the current generation of students have left Mercyhurst. He also emphasized the importance of having underclassmen involved in the club because of the future leadership roles they will have in the organization.

The club already has a significant number of members and it is very easy to join. Simply email Doug Wilsch (dwilsc78@lakers. and he will be able to add you to the mailing list and the Microsoft Teams group.

The club is also looking to become involved in social media, so there will be updates when those accounts are created. “Sustaining a republic is hard, and even harder during a pandemic, but now more than ever is the duty of conscious-minded Americans to make their voices heard through expressing themselves at the voting box,” Wilsch said.

Contributed photo