Young college Democrats from across the state flocked to Cambridge yesterday to take part in a three-day conference on education and politics sponsored by the Harvard Democrat Club.
In an effort to organize themselves into a state-wide network, an expected 150 budding politicos from 25 Massachusetts colleges paid $5 yesterday to meet one another and listen to political pundits.
"We want to have a serious conference on educational issues, as well as to lay the groundwork for and organization for Massachusetts college Democrats," Mark Bodnick '90, and organizer of the convention, said yesterday.
New Republic senior editor Morton Kondracke and former Eighth Congressional District candidate George Bachrach kicked off the weekend's events last night with a discussion entitled "Into the '90's: America After Reagan."
The young Democrats will also get to rub elbows on Sunday with representatives form the different '88 presidential campaigns, including staff members working for Gov. Dukakis, Gary Hart and Jesse Jackson.
However the conference will center around a large number of Saturday morning workshops on topics ranging from "How to run an ef- fective meeting," to "Campaigning: thecandidate's perspective" to "Starting a DemocraticClub."
"Most of the workshops are directed towardshelping the students on a practical level,"Bodnick said.
Tomorrow, two students from the AfricanNational Congress-run Freedom College in Tanzaniawill speak about the South African educationexperience.
"The South African address will give thestudents a chance to get a real feel for what lifeis like in South Africa," said Noah M. Berger '89.
Discussions with prominent state Democrats onsuch issues as federal education policy and therole of young Democrats in their party are alsoscheduled for tomorrow.
On Sunday, the young Democrats will get down towork of a different kind when they travel to threelocal high schools to "clean-up and repair" thecampuses.
"The main theme is education. We want people tothink about getting involved and then show themhow," Organizer Ann Marie Leshkowich '89 said.
To cap off the event, conference planners wantto draft a constitution which would create anetwork of Massachusetts college Democrats in aneffort to make the colleges more politicallyactive not just on campus but with in the state aswell, Leshkowich said.
"Lately there has been a trend that collegestudents are becoming more conservative. We areout to try and prove that students are still asliberal as ever," said Samuel J. Lubell '89, oneof the conference's organizers