In the spring of last year, Justin Seis, senior sociology and philosophy major, was inspired to start the College Green Party.
Seis is now th president of the College Green Party. As a group, the College Green Party hopes to be a space for discussion while also working with the community Green Party to support candidates running for office and working with SGA on issues facing students.
While conception of the club began almost a year ago, the start-up process was slowed after Donald Trump’s election. Seis said the political climate post-election was especially tense for third-party voters, who were accused of throwing away their vote and handing Trump the presidency.
“Even talking about the Green Party at all became extremely tense” Seis said.
Ivy Engwall, treasurer and Junior IPO communication, philosophy and religious studies major, said that too often the major political parties create fear through their dominate presence in politics – and this leads people to feel forced to vote for one or the other of the major candidates.
Engwall said “The green party is definitely about being strong in the face of that kind of fear and voting for who you really believe in.”
Jenessa Gilarski, sophomore health science major and member of the club, agreed with Engwall and emphasized that the purpose of democracy is to make heard the voice of the individual.
“You should be able to have your own voice be heard and not have to have it fit into this mold of one or the other” Gilarski said.
According to wisconsingreenparty.org the Green Party has ten key values, included among these values are ecological integrity, global responsibility, respect for diversity and feminism.
To Seis, the most outstanding aspect of the Green Party is their willingness to take a strong stance on an issue.
Seis pointed out that Hilary Clinton was reluctant to take a stance on the Dakota Access Pipeline whereas less traditional candidates like Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders took strong stances in opposition of the pipeline.
The group was recognized by the Student Government Association on Mar. 9, and will start recruitment this semester but hopes to kick off in the fall semester and begin actively working with other student groups on campus such as Students for Sustainability and 350.
“We want new ideas, we want new people, we want to have a discussion, and we want to stand with people in these social movements not stand for them” Seis said.
Olivia De Valk