Madeline St. John
On Thursday afternoons in the Huebeck lounge, like-minded individuals gather to discuss politics, controversy, activism, on-campus and off-campus issues, and everything in between. They are the Radical Leftist club.
New this semester, the Radical Leftist club was the brainchild of several anarchist students who managed to snag a table at the Involvement Fair at the last minute. The club was an instant hit. Simply by having table at club rush, the club acquired an email list of approximately 70 people. The club is a safe space meant to bring together students united by leftist politics—meaning communist, socialist, anarchist, and anything else far to the left. At meetings, there is no real “leader;” everybody has the opportunity to talk.
Most recently, the club has been working with the Service Employees Involvement Union (SEIU) to raise awareness about Goucher’s recent administrative decision to hire Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the largest workplace law firms in the nation. On October 23 members of the Radical leftist club presented President Bowen with a petition signed by 500 students asking that the college not use tuition dollars to “fight” the formation of the faculty union. On October 27, the Goucher administration hired Jackson-Lewis P.C., a law firm dedicated to representing management.
In response to that decision, on Halloween, Radical Leftist club members passed out bright orange flyers, with the headline “we won’t be tricked!” These flyers outlined how Goucher is going against students’ wishes by spending tuition money on the “union busters” Jackson Lewis. Club members offered handfuls of candy to students who would take the time to tweet @Gouchercollege, with a message telling the administration to “stop using our money to fight our teachers. #don’t fight our teachers.”
While this controversy is the club’s current focus, club members are also involved on campus in other ways and have discussed a variety of events. In the future, the Radical Leftist club hopes to collaborate with other clubs on campus like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Feminist Cooperative. A couple weeks ago, Radical Leftist members, along with members of SJP, attended a vigil for people killed in Gaza who were victims of the Operation Protective Edge. Radical Leftist club members plan to run a table at FemFest. The club is also considering visiting Red Emma’s, the communist bookstore in Baltimore.
At meetings, club members let each other know about any relevant events in the community and ways in which the club can raise awareness. These meetings also give students a space to share leftist politics, literature, and community. Anyone who is interested is encouraged to attend. According to one of the club founders, Zachary Hill ’16, they are all “super welcoming.”
As of now, club meetings are at 4:30 on Thursdays in the Huebeck lounge.