The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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A call to progressives

 A call to progressives
A call to progressives

A call to progressives

The moments prior to the general election of 2004 culminated in a sense of remarkable hope for progressive-minded individuals across this nation. It seemed that this important election year would be defined by its capacity to reaffirm a promise, set forth in a declaration that was made just over two-hundred years ago: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. And as history would later reveal to its children, each movement to advance civil rights in this country would be predicated upon those principles that Thomas Jefferson outlined in the Declaration of Independence, written in 1776.

Presently, it is clear that we have not forgotten these ideals—ideals that have empowered generations of disenfranchised individuals to fight, among many battles, the injustice of racial discrimination, sexual inequality, and the tyranny that poverty has exerted over so many. We find that, while the United States has made significant expansions in the area of civil liberties and has succeeded in making opportunity far more accessible than it once was during this country’s formative years, Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike can all agree: we still have more work to do.

It is for this very reason that I write this commentary. Before we cast our ballots in November of last year, before the Presidential debates, and even before the primaries, I remember a feeling that imbued my soul with pride and hope—hope that America’s best days were ahead of her, not behind her. Hope that opportunity could expand to the poorest corners of this country without it having to be considered a burden upon those who are more fortunate. Hope that every American could adopt the mentality that education is not merely a privilege for the affluent, but a right for all—that every child, as well as every adult, has the capacity to be something great and that the United States of America could be a part of such growth. Hope that democracy would flourish abroad, not simply because other countries would bow down before our military might, but because of our commitment to cooperation and the listening to the criticisms of our own citizens and that of other countries—that is the true framework for lighting the candles of democracy around this world. I could easily go on for hours about my hopes for a positive, stronger, and safer America, but I don’t have to. I am determined to bringing similar progressive movements to the SMU campus and making them last.

As a Democrat, I have dedicated much of my time to working with organizations around Dallas County that support the principles of this party. As a former school board candidate, alternate election judge, and the current Democratic precinct chair for district 4705, I understand the value of building coalitions to support political activism.

While I am currently the Vice-President of SMU Democrats, I am unable to implement my agenda for meaningful and positive change; my current position within this organization does not afford me the required power. Therefore, I would like to both announce my candidacy for the Presidency of this organization, but also, a calling—a call to every progressive-minded individual on this campus to join me in this effort to transform this organization into an active, influential, and positive means for change.

The 12-month agenda that I have crafted includes an aggressive public education campaign that serves to not only to reinforce the importance of this vital institution through literature, but also, to engage in petition and/or letter writing endeavors that seek to oppose measures taken by our representatives that threaten the stability of this important system. One area of focus that the SMU Democrats will address under my leadership will be concerned with three bills in the Texas State House: HB 12, HB 1263, and HB 3042. This legislation will create a school voucher program in Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis counties, and will also create voucher programs in counties with more than 800,000 students—a costly mistake that will prevent the state of Texas from fulfilling its commitment to educating every child. Our public schools are dependent upon sufficient and responsible funding, along with plans to shape a quality curriculum. Establishing a voucher system in this state, never mind the entire country, is antithetical to the principle of education for all—it literally deprives our schools of the resources they need to be successful. In a generous America, education is granted to every person so that they can become responsible, independent, contributing members of our society. It is therefore critical that we mobilize our resources in order to convey our sentiments to our representatives through an aggressive letter writing campaign, and also, that we participate in community outreach programs in order to demonstrate our support for public schools.

My agenda is far more expansive and has detailed plans with respect to the environment, religious/racial/sexual tolerance, civil liberties, a responsible corporate America, and international cooperation—all projects which will reinforce the SMU Democrats commitment to a stronger, safer, hopeful, and more responsible America. If you are prepared to embark upon this journey with me for the next year, then I would encourage you to come by the Women’s Center (it’s right behind the Fondren Library) today at 6:00PM for the SMU Democrats election. I will completely outline my vision that will bring positive change to this campus and our community—progress that we can all be proud of.

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