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Smith College Democrats Named Chapter of the Year



Lauren Wolfe ’05 at the Democratic National Convention in Boston

The Smith College Democrats, an organization with hundreds of campus members, recently took the most prestigious award available to such an organization when it was named Chapter of the Year at the College Democrats of America Convention in Boston.

The convention, which overlapped with the more high-profile Democratic National Convention, annually awards its top honor to what its panel of judges considers the most successful and hardworking College Democrats organization in the country. Smith’s chapter competed against groups at Brown, Harvard, Georgetown and Louisiana State universities, and the universities of Pennsylvania and California, Berkeley.

The honor marks the first time the award has been given to a small liberal arts college, according to Lauren Wolfe, president of Smith Democrats.

“This is a great accomplishment for Smith College,” says Wolfe. “It shows that any organization at our small, all-women’s college has the ability to plan more innovative activities, register more people to vote, and fundraise more effectively than large prestigious universities.”

A committee of leaders from College Democrats chapters from throughout the country read through each competing group’s application. During the Boston convention, representatives from competing chapters gave five-minute presentations before their peers and a panel of judges.

“The Smith College Democrats presentation impressed the judges for being upbeat, unique, and able to include all 32 Smithies at the Convention,” noted Wolfe.

With $1,000 and only 100 names on its mailing list at the beginning of last year, Smith College Democrats worked diligently to raise thousands of dollars and increase its mailing list to 900 names, Wolfe says.

During the year, the organization hosted such speakers as congressmen Bernie Sanders, Richard Neal and Dennis Kucinich, a candidate for president; Democratic pollster Celinda Lake; Massachusetts Representative Ellen Story; and Northampton Mayor Mary Clare Higgins.


 
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