North Carolina students start College Greens chapter at Elon University

From Kevin Monahan at The Pendulum of Elon University, “Elon University junior hopes to bring green ideas to campus”:

An Elon University junior is proposing an on-campus chapter of the Green Party and has begun the process to have it officially approved by the school.

Drayton Aldridge created a Facebook group, “Elon Campus Greens,” to gauge and generate student interest in a campus chapter of the Green Party. The page outlines his goals for the group and has gained 48 members in a little less than a month. In the page’s information section, he pledges the group will “work to elect Green Party candidates and help Green candidates achieve ballot access.”

In addition to creating the Facebook group, Aldridge has met with Wayne Turner, co-chair of the North Carolina Green Party, who he says is excited about the prospect of college chapters.

Aldridge intends for the group to promote student activism on campus and address both on-campus issues and those in the surrounding communities.

“I love Elon, but I hate the Elon bubble,” he said. “There are several issues in the Burlington area that we can and should address.”

A secondary goal Aldridge has for the party is to increase awareness and overcome preconceived notions of the party.

Aldridge said he hopes the establishment of the campus chapter will make more people, particularly younger people, more aware of the party and its efforts.

The Green Party’s Web site lists its “10 key values.” Among the values are grassroots democracy, ecological wisdom, non-violence, decentralization, future focus and sustainability.

According to Aldridge, the Green Party’s position as an alternative to the current two-party system is one of its greatest benefits

Unlike the two major parties, the Green Party is firmly against war and corporate power in nearly all instances.

“The two parties prop each other up,” he said. “They want this system because it means one or the other is always in power.”

The Green Party is further separated from the two major parties because it does not accept funds from corporations. This limits the party’s campaign capabilities. Within several states, North Carolina included, political parties are required to collect a number of signatures from citizens before they can place a candidate on a ballot.

“The major parties are able to pay people to go out and retrieve these signatures,” Aldridge said. “(It’s) something that the Green Party is generally unable to do.”

Aldridge said he has high hopes for Elon’s potential Green Party chapter. He would like to see it become officially recognized by the administration and in the future act as a model for similar groups at other colleges and universities. He said he believes that the involvement of young people is critical to the advancement of the party on a national level and he understands the difficulties it is facing.

“It’s a very ‘David versus Goliath’ type thing, but it’s doable,” he said. “The Republicans were a third party before Abraham Lincoln won the election.”

Read more about College Greens at gp.org/College-Greens.

Dave Schwab

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