Stephen Webber, chair of the Missouri Democratic party, will visit campus on March 8 at 7 p.m. in Kemper Hall. The event is sponsored by The Griffon News and Missouri Western’s Politics Club with the support of the United Democratic Club of NW MO.
Advisor of the politics club Edwin Taylor said the event is the result of an effort to increase student engagement with a variety of issues that affect them.
“Politics Club is non-partisan, and they’re trying to get people from both the left and the right to speak to try to engage students with a variety of perspectives so students can learn to think independently and critically for themselves,” Taylor said.
Webber was invited to represent the left; he was recently elected to head the Democratic party in the state.
“I think it’ll be interesting in part because he’s standing at the forefront of an internal struggle within the Democratic party following the elections,” Taylor said.
Taylor thinks it is important for students to get politically involved.
“Unless you guys say what your interests are, no one is going to listen to you,” Taylor said. “People aren’t speaking on your behalf. Everyone else who is talking in politics is talking about their interest.”
Terri Lowdon, president of the United Democratic Club of NW MO, agrees that it can be beneficial for students to learn more about the current political landscape.
“All important issues of our day affect the students, and it is important that they are exposed to different ideas,” Lowdon said.
Lowdon also thinks that students should learn how to affect change.
“It is important for students to learn how to become a part of the political process and how to get their voices heard,” Lowdon said. “That’s the main goal, to let everybody know that they have a voice and their voice matters.”
Academic Advisor Derek Evans, who is politically involved himself and heads St. Joseph’s Our Revolution chapter, says he hopes Webber can help tell students how to get involved.
“I think they want to [get involved]. It’s probably overwhelming trying to figure out how to navigate that landscape and actually get involved and find a group of people that are doing actual, meaningful work,” Evans said.
During and after the event, the United Democratic Club of NW MO offers a discounted year-long membership for $5 for students.
“We value their participation and want young minds and energetic thoughts to be included in our club,” Lowdon said.
The event is the first in a series of presentations to increase political dialog on campus.