Rarely does the United States government see examples of bi-partisan collaboration. For that matter, neither does Sewanee. However, the non-profit organization No Labels is trying to change that in both cases. Justus Bell (C’17) and Page Forrest (C’17) met in their American Politics and Government class freshman year. Professor Hatcher led a discussion where members of the class looked up different political organizations, including No Labels. Bell and Forrest were both taken with the No Labels mission. Bell also espoused a fondness for the co-president of the organization, Jon Huntsman.
No Labels is a registered 501 c(3) nonprofit, dedicated to promoting political action that reaches across party lines rather than working inside them. Unlike most calls for bipartisanship, the organization has laid out a specific and achievable plan. The National Strategic Agenda has four main goals: creating 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years, balancing the federal budget by 2030, securing Medicare and Social Security for another 75 years, and making America energy secure by 2024. These aren’t just vapid claims, either. Each goal was formulated with nationwide input, and has a definitive strategy behind it. Over 70 members of Congress are also members of No Labels – both Republicans and Democrats. Under the encouragement of Professor Hatcher, Bell and Forrest founded a campus chapter of No Labels at the end of the fall semester. The two proved to be emblematic of the teamwork No Labels strives for – Bell is a registered Republican, while Forrest is a registered Democrat.
Official meetings kicked off at the end of January. No Labels Sewanee intends to promote political discussion and activism on campus, and encourage “the politics of problem solving.” The group plans to work and communicate with both the Sewanee Democrats and Republicans, as well as other politically motivated organizations on campus, as well as hosting events and functions in the spirit of political discourse and fun. No Labels Sewanee meets every Wednesday in Walsh-Ellet 210 at 7 pm. If interested, please contact Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Forrest at email@example.com.