College Greens add to NMU’s political spectrum

Gary Seaman

A recently formed student group, which is affiliated with the Green Party, has taken root at Northern to diversify the political landscape.

The NMU College Greens officially started this month. Aaron Loudenslager, a sophomore political science pre-law and economics major, started the group. He said the College Greens “offer an alternative political group for students with progressive ideals.”

Loudenslager hopes getting students involved with a third party during college will help to establish a stronger progressive presence in Washington in the future. The group only has a handful of current members at NMU, but will be using summer break to work on recruitment plans for gaining membership, Loudenslager said.

“We hope to gain participation through debates and guest speakers next year,” Loudenslager said. “There are a lot of pretty liberal Democrats out there not having their views supported. We’re looking (for people) that are dissatisfied with the current system.”

Loudenslager said the College Greens are affiliated with the national Green Party. He also said that the organization will be focusing a lot of effort against special interest groups and large corporations, which he said many progressives feel get an unfair amount of power and government support.

“We support the average person,” Loudenslager said. “We want to educate people to realize there are reforms to help the average to poor citizen, and we want a system of government that works for the average citizen not the big companies.”

Steven Nelson, professor of political science and faculty advisor for the College Greens, said he thinks the College Greens will help give a voice to many Democrats whose political views aren’t common in the Democratic Party.

“Our country is designed to work for a two-party system, but there’s a huge group within the Democratic Party with views out of the mainstream,” Nelson said. “(The Democratic Party) is not really representing the 10 percent of the population that votes for Ralph Nader.”

Nelson said the College Greens should do well here at NMU and they will be a good fit for campus. He said that he thinks many students share in the group’s progressive ideals, and that organizing students at the college level will really advance the Green Party.

“The Green Party can give an alternative to the democrats . . . it would be nice if there were some candidates across the state running for the Greens,” he said.

Billy Littlejohn, a sophomore entertainment and sports promotion major and member of the College Greens, said that the organization is for the decentralization of power in big corporations and more government involvement to help out the people who need it. The group, he said, still has a lot of work to be done for next year.

“Right now we’re a very rough edged group as we just started last week,” Littlejohn said. “We’re just trying to get more known on campus (and) get students more active and educated.”

Littlejohn said he feels that a multi party system would be good for everyone and that the College Greens will improve representation on campus.

For more information about the Collage Greens, contact Aaron Loudenslager at [email protected]