The Weber State University Democrats are working to promote the local Democratic Party and raise public awareness.
“I think it’s important for people to know that there are two parties in this state,” Oscar Mata, president of the WSU Democrats, said. “Typically it’s dominated by the Republican Party, but Democrats do exist and we are making ourselves known.”
The WSU Democrats are a group of college students who work closely with the Democratic Party in Ogden and the local candidates.
“These people that we are electing now are affecting our tuition rates and our student loans. It isn’t like after we graduate they don’t have an impact on us,” Mata said. “If you aren’t involved, you don’t really care about your future because these people have a huge impact on your future and your children’s future.”
Until recently, the WSU democrats have not been widely known in public. They spent the academic year of 2012-2013 raising funds for local Democratic Party candidates, so that they could help out financially.
After sufficient funds were raised, they turned their focus to promoting both themselves and the Democratic Party. They recently had a booth at the Block Party.
Democratic candidates Steve Olsen and Eric Irvine, as well as AG candidate Charles Stormont, joined college students at the Block Party.
At the booth, students could sign up to be part of the WSU Democrats. They also had the opportunity to volunteer to help out with the local Democratic campaigns.
In the preamble to the Constitution of the Utah State Democratic Party, it states,
“We dedicate ourselves to seek individual freedom in the framework of a just society, and political freedom through meaningful participation by all citizens. We pledge ourselves to open, honest ideals in the workings of this party.”
Mata, as well as current Democratic candidates Eric Irvine and Steve Olsen, stressed the importance of the Democratic Party being a people’s party, and, as the preamble states, building trust between the people and the local government.
“Politics are what makes the wheels of the government work. We need a functional government to keep the wheels of our society rolling,” Irvine said. “Politics should be important to everybody if that relationship is to be understood.”
Olsen talked about the importance of politics in young students’ lives. He expressed concern for the coming generation and their unwillingness to actively participate in decisions that will directly affect them.
“The power really belongs to the people. People are not sufficiently engaged in the way that our country works and they are not fulfilling their responsibilities as citizens,” Olsen said. “Citizenship is not only about rights, it’s about responsibility.”