Even though Ithaca College has a club for Republicans, but no longer has a club for Democrats, freshman Josh Kelly is trying to provide a space for Green Party values on campus through a new club called IC Greens.
Kelly said the Green Party promotes values and ideals such as environmentalism, nonviolence, peace and equality for all people, regardless of race, gender, sex, religion and class. He is still trying to make the club official.
News Editor Sabrina Knight spoke with Kelly about the origins of the club and his participation in the Green Party.
Sabrina Knight: How did you come up with the idea to begin IC Greens?
Josh Kelly: I am a member of the Green Party of the United States. I really love the ideals of the Green Party, and I think that they are very community-service based, and they are very helpful and they’re very giving. I wanted to bring that to the Ithaca College campus in the way that I knew how, which is by starting an organization based on the Green Party ideals and just helping people.
SK: How long have you been a member of the Green Party?
JK: Back in my hometown in Waterford, Conn., I am the chairman of the local Green Party chapter. I became that just by learning about the Green Party in general, and I started to get involved. Then I found out how to start my own town chapter, and I found other Green Party members in my town, and that’s really how I got involved.
SK: Do you plan on participating in political events on campus?
JK: Perhaps. The one thing I love about the Green Party is that it is not all about politics, and I like that it’s not the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, because a lot of times those parties are looked at and people say ‘It’s just politics. They’re just debating.’ You know, it’s always one side or another side, and they are always fighting. What I want this Green Party club to be is to be a philanthropic group. I want them to just give to the community, not just necessarily to have it be about the politics, but to have it be about doing good, which is what I think all political parties should be striving to do.
SK: What are your goals for the club?
JK: I hope that the club can pull together community-service projects, and what I mean by that is not just local community-service projects, but also global community-service projects and carry out these projects. An example of what I would like to do is, I would like to hold some kind of fundraiser or benefit concert here on campus to raise money for people of Syria who have been displaced because of the conflict there and who have been injured or in some other way hurt by the conflict. We just want to help people in that kind of need.
SK: Will you look for themes as you plan service projects in Ithaca?
JK: Promoting equality and preserving the environment. Any way we can promote those ideals is a good thing.