Third-party groups on campus alternative to two-party system
In an election year with many people questioning the electability of both major nominees, third parties have received more attention than usual.
MSU students who align with major parties have groups to go to in the MSU College Republicans and the MSU College Democrats.
However, groups for third parties, such as the Libertarian Party or the Green Party, are more difficult for students to come across.
Still, there are a limited amount of third-party student groups.
While it is not a partisan group, Young Americans for Liberty at MSU is available to students as an alternative group on campus.
The group was founded by president of the group and advertising and public relations senior Josh Slivensky with other students.
“Young Americans for Liberty at MSU was formed about a year ago, last fall, by me and three other people because we were all pretty concerned about individual liberty,” Slivensky said.
Slivensky’s group is largely focused on creating awareness on campus and educating students on issues of liberty.
“We use activism and we plan events that educate fellow students on the ideas of liberty,” Slivensky said.
Another active alternative group on campus is MSU Young Democratic Socialists.
Ali Hammoud, a pre-law and humanities junior and a member of MSU Young Democratic Socialists, said regarding the focus of the group, “We’re trying to build our organization as a democratic socialist organization to recruit, to educate, to organize students for the realization of a democratic socialist society.”
In addition to wanting to do a better job of informing students about democratic socialism, Hammoud said YDS isn't as concerned about the lack of third party groups, but rather a lack of the ideas they provide.
"We think the absence alternative political parties isn’t in itself the problem, the problem is what is specifically absent which is a vision for the future, beyond what’s provided by establishment parties," Hammoud said.
Similarly, Slivensky said he believes it’s important students have a group that they truly identify with.
“I think it’s very important that people don’t just identify necessarily with the College Democrats or the College Republicans,” Slivensky said.
Slivensky said Young Americans for Liberty is always looking to work with other groups on campus.
“One thing we like to focus on is finding any group out there, it doesn’t matter who they are, if there’s a group at MSU that’s passionate about ending the drug war, or the Second Amendment, or something about student debt, or the national debt — if there’s an overlap, we want to work with them," Slivensky said.
Daniel Eggerding, president of the MSU College Democrats, said he believes the presence of third party on groups on campus can be expanded on.
“I think the two-party system definitely has its pros and cons, but the discussion of these ideas that can make a two-party system even better and adding ideas to the Democratic party from other liberal groups, and to the Republican party from other conservative groups,” Eggerding said.
Adding to his ideas about the benefit of adding ideas into the two party system, Eggerding mentioned that he believes there is no reason not to discuss other ideas.
"It will only further the discussion, I don’t think it hurts anything, it only helps further the discussion of political action within our campus and our community," he said.