Wesleyan is now home to a chapter of College Greens, a growing nation-wide student organization devoted to the advancement of the Green Party and its ideals. Chapter organizer Ross Levin ’15 arranged for Ed McKeon, a candidate for the Middletown Board of Education, to attend the group’s first meeting.
“Over the past few years [The Green Party] has been exploding all over the world,” Levin said. “What ties these parties…together is not just their commitment to the environment but also the world view that everything is interconnected. Social issues affect economic issues and educational issues. Everything needs to be addressed in a holistic way.”
Levin used the example of abortion to illustrate this point. He said that instead of outlawing abortion because it’s “wrong,” a Green Party member would ask about what social preconditions would lead a person to need an abortion, and how they can be addressed.
The party also supports the decentralization of government.
“What brought me to the green party meeting is my discontent with the current political party structure as well as my wish to preserve the environment for future generations,” Cesar Chavez ’15 wrote in an email to The Argus.
Adin Vaewsorn ’15, who attended the first meeting, echoed Chavez’s sentiments.
“I was drawn to the Green Party meeting because I’m growing increasingly distrustful of the two-party system, and I’m very interested in learning more about what seems to be one of the most realistic alternatives,” he wrote in an email to The Argus. “The Green Party stands for values that I strongly believe in, [including] environmentalism, social justice, feminism/gender equality, and keeps itself out of a lot of shady business by not accepting donations from corporations.”
Like many Democrats, Green Party members support free education and healthcare, but Green Party ideals extend further still.
“It’s about the connection of the liberal spirit of FDR with the spirit of the Occupy movement,” Ross said “Everyone should control their own destiny.”
McKeon, formerly a Democrat, explained that he joined the Green Party after witnessing campaign tactics among some Middletown politicians which he thought were questionable.
“[Middletown’s Democrats] tend to be fiscal conservatives,” McKeon said. “They don’t spend on education. They do little about the poverty in town, almost to the point where it’s like a Republican party more than a Democratic party.”
Levin is optimistic about the group’s future.
“I think [the group] has a lot to offer Green Party Candidates,” Levin said
The Wesleyan College Greens plan on helping with phone banking for Green Party candidates. Students at the meeting also proposed raising awareness of the party’s existence and its platform through campus-wide dialogues and film screenings. On Saturday Oct. 29, David Cobb, the Green Party’s 2004 presidential candidate will speak at Wesleyan as part of his Connecticut tour from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center (PAC) Room 001.