posted 2011-11-30 14:42:55

The International Socialist Club at Hunter Wants to Recruit You

The club puts emphasis on creating a welcoming space for students interested in leftist political activism


Contributing Writer

The International Socialist Club at Hunter College is a branch that belongs to a district in the national organization. Club meetings are not for arguing the merits of populist politics, but for those that take their political beliefs seriously and are already interested in the Socialist perspective.

The tabling events in front of the third floor cafeteria in the west building have seen a rise in student inquires about the club, especially in relation to the global political context of the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movement. The members of the Hunter ISO branch support these movements, and have piqued student interest as a result of their politically active representation and their involvement in CUNY-specific issues like tuition hikes and adjunct benefits. When discussing the club in the current political climate, club member Bronwyn Roe, a senior and Sociology major, said that it is much easier to engage students this semester.

One of the main goals of the club is to cultivate a space on campus where students feel safe and confident in engaging in political discussion and putting forward their questions about leftist politics. Roe said another goal is to help students understand their political grievances by explaining the roots of political issues, and developing a “framework of how to actually dismantle a system that perpetuates, creates disadvantages, and attacks those of the working class and of color.”

Club members make no qualms about their political beliefs and would like to have more students identify with their radical politics. The objective is to get students to recognize the club’s focal point of analyzing the world from a Marxist perspective.

After agitating students on campus to figure out Hunter’s most pressing concerns, the club has decided that addressing tuition hikes will be one of its main objectives. Also on the club’s agenda is the improvement of student resources like broken printers and bathrooms. They believe little victories on campus build the confidence of students to fight for more, and to eventually demand that CUNY, a state-funded institution, should be free. Through the mobilization of students fighting smaller problems on campus, the club believes it helps expose the flaws in the educational system, and ultimately, the government system at large.

They believe that the cause of most problems is capitalism and that root cause unites all struggles on global and local levels to advocate for Marxist politics. The club thinks the next crucial step of Occupy Wall Street is to bring its excitement to campuses and build a sustainable movement. Their newspaper, The Socialist Worker, is available at tabling events, and club members also make an effort to begin a dialogue with students.

Roe believes that one of the important roles of the Hunter ISO branch is to provide political clarity in the shift of consciousness and explain why events like workers strikes are increasing. The club emphasizes activism because it feels it is important for students to realize that a difference can be made by winning demands and enacting change. Members of the club want politics to be taken seriously but also find it important to create a welcoming, safe space.

The International Socialist Club meets every Wednesday at 1pm in Thomas Hunter 305B. They also do tabling events Monday and Tuesdays at 3:30 in front of the third floor cafeteria in the east building and maintain a blog, hunterinternationalsocialists.wordpress. com.