Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

DAC Seeks to Empower Students

Fern Creson
The members of Direct Action Coalition (Fern Creson)

Aiming to inspire students to be politically active and provide a space to engage or express one’s political ideologies, the Direct Action Coalition (DAC) is a new club on campus that strives to empower students to do just that. As a club dedicated to mobilizing students, its mission is to encourage students to broaden their political views regarding oppression and how marginalized groups are impacted.

The hope is that students will be more open to collective community organization and direct action as a form of protest. 

DAC held its first official meeting Feb. 7 to formally introduce their club and the members that brought it to fruition.

Reign Riley, a third-year double major in film and sociology, is the president of DAC. He talked about the forming of the club and the motivation behind it. He shared that the club was formed due to the increasing desire to use what he and his fellow students have been practicing in academic spheres.

“It was formed because of all the learning we were doing in our classes. We didn’t feel there was an outlet for us to try and take that learning into action,” Reign said. “As leftists, we don’t believe in learning and then not doing anything with that information, but turning it into action.”

The club’s short-term goal is to increase student engagement and familiarize them with the proper outlets and tools to apply their ideologies. Over time, the goal is to establish a unified leftist movement encompassing diverse DAC ideologies. 

Zoe Mason, a third-year double majoring in social work and women, gender, & sexuality studies, is the vice president and financial officer of DAC. Though the club is just taking its first steps, she has thought about what DAC will look like after she graduates. She hopes that DAC will continue to have an impact long after she graduates.

“We want to be a part of the culture that is [students] educating themselves outside of school and continuing to ask questions and continuing to act on their beliefs,” Mason said. 

Mason touched on how the American education system exposes people to filtered information, so the club is striving to cultivate an environment where the members can combat that influence and bias. 

DAC wants to provide a constructive space and foster a culture that encourages students to think critically before deciding how to engage politically with the world. They hope to create a space where students can be involved in radical dialogue with one another about their political opinions. 

“The immediate [goal] is education and an outlet to be active. Those are really the main two points we want to focus on. We don’t necessarily believe in acting without thinking and thinking without acting. So we want to cultivate that kind of culture among students here,” Riley said. 

Jaedyn Fedd, a fourth-year international studies major, is a member in charge of the C.O.R.E (Cinema in Order to Radicalize Everyone) Screenings at DAC. Fedd joined DAC after Reign reached out to her; she expressed that her voice feels welcome and heard at the club.

She also highlighted that her identity as a Black woman sparked her interest in joining the club. After the pandemic had drained her motivation and interest in club activities, Fedd found that the club had rekindled that ambition.  

“I finally feel I have the capacity to give again and the ability to act, and this is a great opportunity to, at least as a senior, inspire other people to join and act as well,” Fedd said. 

DAC hopes to work with other clubs in the future in hopes of expanding on their goal of broadening their political views. They hope to collaborate with various clubs, including but not limited to Sustainable Student Action (SSA) and Seattle University Students Justice for Palestine (SUSJP).

“We would really also love to build community and partnership with them. And just any space that is a liberatory space is what we’re looking to cultivate and empower. I think that’s a mutual thing. We can empower each other and grow as a community,” Mason said.

The DAC holds a weekly screening every Sunday at 8 p.m., open to everyone. Additionally, they hold meetings Wednesday at 7 p.m. every other week. All of their events are typically posted on Instagram.

“We’re all just little humans in a big world, and we all have a responsibility to care and love for each other, and this is how we want to express that. We want to care and love for each other by doing what we think is right. Come join!” Fedd said.

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