FHSU Student Organization Feature – FHSU Young Democrats of America


The FHSU Young Democrats is a student-led partisan organization that works to encourage students to participate in the electoral process, increase political action among the youth, and advocate for more progressive issues on campus. As an organization, they believe it is crucially important that each and every student voice their needs. 

Miriam Benavides, president of FHSU’s Young Democrats of America, states that while this is her first year being involved with the group, she can see that the organization works on spreading political and social awareness by constructing a positive narrative within the community. She highlights one specific activity that the group had an opportunity to participate in this year. 

“This year, the FHSU Young Dems had the unique and advantageous opportunity to canvas for the Hammond campaign,” Benavides said. “Even past the end of the campaign, our main mission is to continue to focus on community outreach and on-campus involvement.”

Jay Steinmetz, FHSU Young Democrats’ faculty advisor, adds to Benavides’s statement with what he believes to be the purpose of the organization.

“We aim to foster a community of like-minded individuals and create an environment in which these students can bounce ideologies off of each other through encouraged debate,” he said. “We also look to facilitate the growth of modern liberal and progressive thinkers on campus.”

He continues by explaining the real-world significance of being a part of a club like the FHSU Young Democrats.

“Politics affects all of us, regardless of where you live, who you are, or what you do, on a daily basis throughout all levels of society,” Steinmetz said. “Being involved in a politic-related club on campus, and being aware of the politics surrounding you, is a fantastic way to be informed as a US citizen.”

Benavides agrees with Steinmetz’s declaration of significance by expressing that college students should strive to be politically aware, as it is a vital quality to cultivate opinions. 

“Being misinformed can be harmful, as not everyone can afford to be politically unaware,” she said. “Many do not receive the same protection from the effects of political decisions. Political awareness brings about active and informed individuals that help those that are disadvantaged.” 

With that being said, she goes on to emphasize the importance of all Americans exercising their right to vote.

“Absolutely, citizens should vote. Being able to vote is a right, and unfortunately, not everyone who resides in America has this right,” Benavides said. “It is imperative, for those that can, to exercise the right to vote. Casting a vote helps direct the direction of policies, and a vote ensures that your interest is represented.”

Steinmetz builds off of Benavides’ emphasis. 

“Yes, of course. If people have the opportunity to vote, simply put, they should vote,” he said. “It is a right and a value of every citizen to exercise their personal political choices, and each of those choices matter.”

Steinmetz and Benavides each share their favorite memories relating to the club. 

While Steinmetz makes his argument that his favorite memory relating to the club is watching young leaders grow and empower themselves by making choices, delegating authority, and having their voice heard, Benavides highlights the ‘big yearly debate’ that takes place each fall between the Young Dems and the College Reps. 

“The most memorable moment for the group was being able to participate in the annual debate,” Benavides said. “We had the opportunity to debate FHSU’s College Republicans and this was an engaging debate that I would love to be a part of again. Both groups remained respectful and were fantastic.”

Benavides accents that becoming involved on campus is crucial to gain ‘that’ college experience.

“I would say becoming more involved this year has allowed me to branch out and gain connections with students and people that I wouldn’t have gained without my involvement,” she said. “My best advice for students is to always keep up to date with the monthly activities going on around campus and reach out to the organizations that you are interested in.”

Steinmetz also holds the idea that the college experience goes farther than students attending classes.

“It is crucially important that students become involved with the university because an undergraduate education is not just about academic knowledge – it is about growing as a whole person through mind, body, and spirit,” he said. “Student-led organizations also create exemplary leadership opportunities and foster a community through civic participation.”

The FHSU Young Democrats of America will host their first meeting of the semester at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday in the Cavalier room located in the Memorial Union. 

Benavides and Steinmetz both invite anyone that is interested in joining the group as they work on setting up a possible immigration panel for the Fall 2023 semester. 

“Be on the lookout for our meetings and come join us!”
Additional meeting dates and times will be announced on their Instagram @FHSUyoungdems . For more information on FHSU’s Young Democrats of America, check out their Tigerlink at the following link https://tigerlink.fhsu.edu/organization/youngdemocratsofamerica .