College Democrats has six committees through which the organization carries out most of its work. Two of the committees, FunDems and ThoughtfulDems, are organizational support committees, while the other five committees focus on policy issues. All committees meet weekly during the academic year.
EDUCATION | AcaDems
Chair: Stephen Culbertson and Jacob Light
Mondays at 9 PM | Second Floor, East Hall Math Atrium
AcaDems is the education policy committee for the College Democrats at the University of Michigan. In AcaDems, we work to promote progressive education policies at the state and federal level, and work with elected officials to advance the voice of the Democratic Party in education. As Democrats, we believe in the importance of strong elementary and secondary education, as well as accessible higher education, and support the educators and administrators who make our education system successful. Through lobbying, organizing, and grassroots activism, we hope to bring the voice of students and Democrats into the conversation on education.
ENVIRONMENT | EnviroDems
Chair: Trevor Dolan and Andrew Klooster
Mondays at 7 PM | Dana Building Commons
EnviroDems actively campaigns for environmental responsibility. At the local and state levels, the committee works towards this goal by promoting environmental causes and pushing for community action, as well as our representatives for national and international progress. This policy focus is what distinguished EnviroDems from a number of other environmentally-oriented groups on campus. In the past, EnviroDems has worked on a diverse array of projects, including partnering with major environmental advocacy organizations on issue campaigns, hosting a community education conference on the outcome of COP15, and even creating our own documentary on the benefits of sustainable redevelopment in Detroit.
FUNDRAISING | FunDems
Chair: Sonja Karnovsky
Wednesdays at 7 PM | Fourth Floor, Red Couches, Michigan Union
The fundraising committee of UMCD, Fundems is charged with putting on events and reaching out to donors to raise funds to support the organization at-large and the activities of the other committees. Members of FunDems take an active role in raising the money that allows the greater organization to stage its most important activities, such as district invasions, lobbying trips, and issue seminars. Those looking to make a measurable impact in UMCD and gain valuable experience in political fundraising and development are encouraged join.
LGBT ISSUES | StonewallDems
Chairs: Connie Gao and Jeff Iles
Tuesdays at 9 PM | Fourth Floor, Red Couches, Michigan Union
UMCD’s committee for LGBT rights, StonewallDems, is also U of M’s chapter of Stonewall Democrats. This national organization is affiliated with the Democratic Party and promotes LGBT rights through political action. U of M’s chapter was the first collegiate chapter, it was founded in 2003. StonewallDems’ mission is to raise awareness and to create social change within our campus and the community. In particular, we are a part of the open housing initiative on campus, we working to fight against the blood donation restrictions for gay men, and we are a part of a statewide anti-bullying campaign.
MEDIA | ThoughtfulDems
Chair: Mary Bridget Lee
Wednesdays at 8 PM | Fourth Floor, Red Couches, Michigan Union
ThoughtfulDems is the press and publicity committee of College Democrats. The committee is responsible for crafting the organization’s message, developing outreach materials, and maintaining the organization’s blog. In addition, the committee plans organization-wide events and provides logistical support to the other six committees. The committee meets on the red couches in the fourth floor of the Michigan Union every Wednesday at 8:00 pm.
SOCIAL JUSTICE | JustDems
Chair: Max Lerner and Ryne Menhennick
Tuesdays at 8 PM | 4th floor, Red Couches, Michigan Union
JustDems focuses on Democratic values in the context of social justice. This year, the committee will put on various events to raise awareness of and advocate for social justice within our community. In the past, the committee has worked with the Lecturers’ Employee Organization (AFT Local 6244, AFL-CIO) during contract negotiations with the University, created a socially conscious consumer guide to Ann Arbor, and encouraged the University to adopt Fair Trade products and earn Fair Trade certification. Currently, the committee is working on labor issues in Michigan and the intersectionality of social justices issues within the education system. In the coming year, the committee also looks forward to increasing collaboration with existing student and community organizations that are working to fix our broken immigration and prison systems.
WOMEN’S ISSUES | FemDems
Chairs: Cosette Kathawa and Lea Bart
Mondays at 8 PM | 4th floor, Red Couches, Michigan Union
FemDems focuses on gender-related causes on campus and the greater Ann Arbor community. In the past, the committee has hosted Kick-Ass Thursdays with politicians and activists who work on behalf of women’s rights. Additionally, FemDems gained publicity for investigating anti-choice groups here in Ann Arbor. Currently, the committee is finding its voice on the UMCD blog and on its Twitter account (@FemDems), and welcomes to fresh ideas for activism on campus!