Young Democratic Socialists of America at UTSA
Chance Walker, top second from left, Samantha Fuentes, bottom, second from right.
On Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, the Young Democratic Socialists of America at UTSA (YDSA) held a meeting in Study Room 13 in the John Peace Library where they discussed their goals and how to achieve them.
Chance Walker, a freshman geography major, was one of the few students who helped establish the YDSA at UTSA. “We were a very small group until Bernie Sanders ran for President in 2016; at that time, the DSA went from having 6,000 members at the beginning of 2016 to at the end of 2016 we had 20,000 members.” The DSA is currently gaining on 30,000 members.
The chapter was implemented this semester and currently has nearly 40 members. The organization hopes to gain enough members to qualify for a designated on-campus room for their meetings. “We want to be the largest left-wing student organization, not only on campus, but in the country,” Walker said.
To chapter plans to achieve their goals by participating in voter registration, attending the Participatory Budgeting Meeting, asking Congressman Lloyd Doggett about medicare at a Town Hall meeting and block-walking for Planned Parenthood.
The organization is looking forward to working with San Antonio’s DSA chapter, organizing teach-ins and growing as an organization.
Catherine Zavaletta, a freshman art history major, is a new member to UTSA’s chapter of YDSA. “I was really interested in seeing what socialism was really about, hearing it first-hand from a socialist versus hearing it from a capitalistic society,” she said. “I understand and agree with the need to push for socialism.”
In trend with the Democratic Socialists of America’s (DSA) rise in national popularity, UTSA will have a DSA chapter in its city.
San Antonio joins a list of cities with a newly recognized DSA by becoming Texas’ tenth chapter.
Riley Metcalfe, UTSA graduate student, organized the Young Democratic Socialists of America at UTSA chapter and established recognition from the DSA’s national office.
“I wanted to be part of a chapter here but the nearest one was in Austin,” Metacalfe said, “after Trump got elected I decided to start ours in San Antonio.”
Metacalfe organized thirteen invested members, many UTSA students or alumni, and now wants to extend the opportunity of membership to the San Antonio community.
The DSA reported a rise from 6,500 members in May to over 15,000 today. The rise in membership was found in Texas as well; Austin’s DSA reported over 400 new members in the month of Jan.
The association’s visibility has Senator Bernie Sanders and his presidential campaign much to thank.
H. Drew Galloway, executive director at MOVE San Antonio, said, “Young people heard about issues that matter most to us: student debt relief, criminal justice reform, access to higher education, environmental justice and economic equity just to name a few.
“When you think of the stigmatization against socialism, Bernie Sanders removed that,” Metcalfe added.
The San Antonio chapter’s first public meeting will be held on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Geekdom downtown.
“The first step is organizing. Recruiting people and seeing what kind of numbers we have and what kind of outreach we can do.” Metcalfe said, “The DSA is the biggest socialist organization in the country, it unites the left-democrats, communists, anarchists— It’s about recognizing that in this country we need to start uniting those with a shared anti-capitalist ideology.”
“What appeals to me about the DSA is their ‘big tent’ and the San Antonio members willingness to help lead social activism in San Antonio,” Kristine Robb, Texas State graduate student, said, “I want to channel my frustration into positive outcomes in the San Antonio community. The DSA is a good place to converse and organize people with the same goals.”
Recruiting is an uphill challenge for new organizations, but Metcalfe intends to use the opposition to the Trump presidency as an opportunity for the chapter.
“People in the middle will see that the (DSA) are the real opposition to Trump in the next four years. We’ve already seen that the Democrats have done poorly in resisting him and I think the people who lean middle-left are sick of it,” Metacalfe said.
1st Weekly Meeting
Young Democratic Socialists at UTSA 1st Weekly Meeting
Public · Hosted by Young Democratic Socialists of America at UTSA
Wednesday, September 6 at 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM CDT
Room 13 of the John Peace Library Main Campus of UTSA.
- This is the first meeting of the Young Democratic Socalists of America (YDSA) at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Invited on Facebook
- Alexandra Dean
- Samantha Fuentes
- Meghan Elizabeth
- Chance Martin
- Anthony Govea
- Cuauhtemoc Malcolm Toren
Rick Trevino connection
Weekly YDSA Meeting, Hosted by Young Democratic Socialists of America at UTSA
Wednesday, November 29 at 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM CST
UC 2.01.20 Oak Room
Speech and Q&A with Democratic Socialist Congressional Candidate Rick Trevino ~ 25 Minutes.