Umbrella Groups

The Original Theory and Place of Umbrella Groups in the College Democrats.

The College Democrats must represent all Democrats on campus, from the most liberal to most conservative. The Umbrella group system can solve conflicts over which ideology should be in charge. It allows individual members to start organizations and plan events under the College Democrats umbrella in line with their ideas, while the general body acts as a check to make sure that the umbrella group is still generally promoting mainstream Democratic ideas.

The College Democrats is also in charge of putting Democrats back in charge of the country. This is a large task. It involves the ability for Democrats of every ideological calling to come together and act in a unified way at certain moments throughout the year. This is what the Activist Council and the E-Board are for. These two bodies organize the large events that through general consensus all of our member can partake in, and because these two bodies represent all Democrats they are likely to be the more moderate bodies within the organization.

How much control should the Executive Board have over the Umbrella groups?

When the E-Board only thinks about its goal of putting Democrats back in charge and forgets that it is also responsible for representing all Democrats on campus, it will be tempted to micromanage an umbrella group that it feels is hurting the chances of the Democratic Party being put back into power. However, the E-Board should not have control over the Umbrella group, it can obviously offer advice, but that is it. The independence of the Umbrella group from the E-Board is necessary in order to make sure that all members of the Democratic Party on campus feel represented.

But there has to be some control over an Umbrella group just in case they do something really outside of mainstream Democratic ideology?

Yes, there is, an Umbrella group can be disbanded or controlled in the same way it was put together – by the general body. The Executive Board does have control over umbrella groups Constitutionally, but they are supposed to be as independent as possible.

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