University Democrats launch "First 100 Days" initiative

Effort encourages students to take action in response to Trump presidency

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The University Democrats encouraged students to take action by advocating for their political interests. 

Riley Walsh | Cavalier Daily

The University Democrats met Wednesday night to introduce a response to President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. The “First 100 Days” initiative is comprised of a list of activities and actions students can take to be politically active, regardless of party affiliation.

University Democrats President Brett Curtis, a third-year Curry student, said the first 100 days of a presidency make a significant impact.

“There'll be sweeping changes and executive orders, which we’ve already seen, and starting to set policy and goal agendas,” Curtis said. “That really sets the tone, so it’s incumbent to the minority in both the House, Senate and in the presidential administration to makes their voices and ideas and requests and goals just as importantly heard.”

The University Democrats’ list consists of different ways students can involve themselves in politics. The list encourages students to complete items such as attending a political march in support of a cause they care about and contacting their elected officials.

The list was written to allow for any affiliations, political or otherwise.

“We have a list of 100 concrete ways and ideas that every single student, regardless of party and other identifying information, can start to get involved and make a difference at the University, in Richmond and in D.C.,” Curtis said.

The meeting was designed to help attendees get started with their lists by providing paper and envelopes for writing to representatives. The University Democrats also provided lists of officials on committees of particular interest to the group.

Both the meeting and the list of activist items were designed to encourage students to be vocal in expressing their ideas.

“I think that [students] really do appreciate that there absolutely is a need to resist and push back, to do a number of different types of resistance movements,” Curtis said. “This is just another avenue they can start from home each and every day.”

The idea of speaking out was shared by students in attendance, such as first-year Engineering student Brandon Thompson.

“I came out today due to this general election and what has happened,” Thompson said. “I want to try and have some type of impact, some type of way of helping.”

The University Democrats see the list as a way to start students down a path of activism, a sentiment echoed by Thompson.

“I think it’s a good start,” Thompson said. “I just think we need to be more reflective at ourselves and look within the Democratic Party at where our problems are.”

The true purpose of the list is to make a difference with civic involvement, according to Curtis.

“Find the things that are important to you and make sure that you are making your voice heard,” Curtis said.

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