October 5, 2015

Presidential candidate Sanders' campaign highlights renewed perspective on socialism

By Becky Raspe

The Student Socialist Society at Cleveland State University not only advocates that everyone have a fair share but also supports other relevant cultural struggles that have received significant attention lately.

“We call ourselves the Student Socialist Society,” said C.J.Z., a member of the group who wishes to remain anonymous. “We do believe that everyone should have an equal slice of the ‘pie’— but we generally are an anti-capitalist group. I’m an anarchist — we have a Marxist and a Communist in the group too.”

Socialism is a political and economic theory that advocates everyone in a community should have rights to own and regulate economic products as a whole.

The Student Socialist Society participates in protests and humanitarian efforts throughout the year that revolve around the Black Lives Matter campaign and Justice For Palestine.

“If you want to join, we table in the Innerlink from time to time,” said C.J.Z. “You can also look [for] updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts and just show up to a meeting to get involved.”
The Student Socialist Society is one of the smaller organizations on campus but in light of recent events in politics — could become more relevant within the next year because of the presidential elections.

One of the Democrats running for president, Sen. Bernie Sanders, has referred to himself as a Socialist on more than one occasion.

But many Socialists and Democrats alike have agreed that he isn’t truly a socialist — but a good start in the right direction.

“First off, I would like to make it clear that Bernie Sanders is not a socialist even if he claims to be one himself,” said Stean Knaack, president of the College Democrats at Cleveland State and the creator of the “Greater Cleveland for Bernie Sanders” Facebook page. “Bernie could be called a progressive and he could be called a social Democrat.”

According to Knaack, whose opinions are his own and not affiliated with the College Democrats organization, Senator Sanders’ is a hope “[we] could all get behind for a bit more equality for the working and middle classes.”

“The main principle of his campaign is that the level of income and wealth inequality we have in this country is perhaps the biggest issue facing the country today,” Knaack said.

“He supports programs which help the poor and the middle class, such as tuition-free public universities, a single-payer, ‘Medicare-for-all’ healthcare system, and raising the minimum wage to a living wage.”

With such proposed changes coming from Sanders, some people see this election period as a turning point for the country.

Emily Forsee, who is majoring in nonprofit administration and pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration, couldn’t agree more with Senator Sanders’ views.

Forsee stresses the importance of registering to vote.

“I can’t think of a single person that isn’t directly affected by our government, and voting is one of the most direct ways to have a say in your life,” Forsee said. “We may not realize it, but we are living through a point in history that is demanding great change.”
Forsee was also one of the students sitting at tables, going into her classes and signing students up to vote.

“We are at the beginning of a very interesting presidential campaign cycle,” Forsee said. “The least anyone can do is stay informed and vote.”

The deadline to register to vote is always 30 days before an election.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is located on 2925 Euclid Ave. and students are able to register and vote early there.

Last day to register for the November election is Oct. 5. Absentee voting is Oct. 6.

To join a discussion about this story, visit The Cleveland Stater on Facebook.

Return to The Cleveland Stater Home Page.


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