Students Against Trump, a branch of the Democratic Coalition Against Trump Super Political Action Committee, has established a chapter at Cornell, hoping to encourage young voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election.
The Democratic Coalition Against Trump formed in May, and is the largest anti-Trump grassroots organization in the country with 117,000 members, according to co-founder Nathan Lerner. Lerner said the group is designed to achieve exactly what its name implies: “keep Donald Trump out of the White House.”
The coalition plans to use small-scale efforts to bar the Republican nominee from the presidency, including the establishment of Students Against Trump chapters on various college campuses. These groups — which have already been established at over 50 campuses across the nation— aim to help millennials understand the importance of their vote, according to Lerner.
Andres Sellitto ’17, Cornell’s student ambassador for Students Against Trump, said he became involved with the group “as a matter of principle.” He said he wanted to start the group at Cornell because he could “not stand by while facing the rise of a figure like Trump, who reminds me of populist dictators from other countries of the world,” he said.
Sellitto echoed Lerner’s summary of the coalition’s goal, saying it aims “to convince voters that they must unite against Donald Trump, and that the most effective way of doing so is backing Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.”
The group plans to host a “Get Out the Vote” event on campuses across the nation to raise the discussion on the importance of youth vote, according to Lerner.
Lerner stressed the critical role that the millennial vote will play in the upcoming election.
“Trump’s most probable path to victory is low turnout among millennials — age 18 to 24 — and too many voting for third-party candidates,” he said. “The generation that played a key role in electing Barack Obama twice should not be the one that helps a regressive hedonist like Trump become president.”
Although Students Against Trump groups are primarily located on college campuses in swing states, Lerner said he wanted to start a group at Cornell because of its important congressional and state senate elections, which the Clinton campaign is overlooking because of her certain win in New York.
Thus, along with garnering votes for Clinton, Students Against Trump at Cornell is also encouraging students to vote for the Democratic candidates in other November elections, specifically John Plumb for Congress and Leslie Danks Burke for N.Y. State Senate, Sellitto said.
Ithaca’s current congressman, Tom Reed (R-NY), whom Plumb will face in the election, was one of the first congressmen to endorse Trump in March, The Sun previously reported.
In the presidential election, Students Against Trump believe there is only one worthy candidate, according to Sellitto — “It’s Hillary versus Trump, and there’s only one reasonable choice,” he said.