Student Forming ADA Groups At Harvard, Other Campuses
In an effort to develop "an active and vocal response to conservatism on a grass-roots level" a Harvard sophomore is setting up chapters of a national progressive organization on 30 collegecampuses statewide, including Harvard.
Jonathan H. Spalter '84, said yesterday the purpose of the organization--the Youth Caucus of Americans for Democreatic Action (ADA)--is to provide outlets for progressive political student activism.
At 19 years old, Spalter is the youngest member of the ADA's boad of directors.
Groups like the Harvard-Radcliffe Democratic Club (HRDC) are too involved in political "consciousness-raising" and not in direct political activity, Spalter said, adding that it is necessary for students to "actualize their interests within the contemporary political process to achieve results.
Jess A. Velona '83, the president of HRDC, refused to comment yesterday on Spalter's activites, saying, "I think the record of the Democratic Club stants on its own.
But Jerome S. Fortinsky '83, an HRDC member and chairman of the newly formed Harvard Colition for Handgun Control, said yesterday that while he encourages formation of any new political action groups, he thinks that existing organizations--such as HRDC, the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, and the Institute of Politics-already "cover the territory."
The ADA chapters will not sponsor forums or speackers, Spalter said, adding that he hopes to develop "a consortium among Massachusetts students in which we can lobby effectively."
The "single-issue" approach to liberal politics has been ineffective, while conservative groups have been successful forming coalitions, Spalter said.