The following was written by Emma Cummins and originally published on the Hillsdale Collegian.
[The Hillsdale College] Student Federation granted initial club status to the Citizens for Self-Governance club last Thursday. The club is the first campus chapter of its parent organization, Citizens for Self-Governance, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization whose current project is the Convention of States Project.
The Convention of States Project propose to amend the U.S. Constitution using Article V, through the meeting of the states rather than Congress. The organization hopes to pass amendments in order to limit the power and scope of the federal government.
Junior Lucy Meckler, the club’s co-president, said she feels the club provides a concrete approach to solving the issues of a bloated government.
“We believe in an ideology that the federal government should be reduced in certain aspects, but not necessarily how or in what manner,” Meckler said. “That differs from groups like YAF and YAL because they all endorse a certain platform or a certain participant of that platform. It’s a structural, constitutional way to fix the government instead of just voting in new people or educating citizens.”
Although the college has multiple political clubs on campus such as Young Americans for Freedom, Young Americans for Liberty, College Republicans, and College Democrats, CSG appeals to a larger group, according to secretary and junior Jack McPherson .
“CSG really spends time educating the grassroots and building positive citizenship,” McPherson said. “Their agenda is the people’s agenda, and it appeals to all people across party lines and across ideological lines.”
Sophomore Austin Mock and head of the Club Oversight Committee on Student Federation also felt the club fit a unique role on campus.
“They had a mission that was not already being fulfilled on campus,” Mock said. “A nonpartisan, grassroots organization didn’t already have an established place on campus. It was refreshing and new.”
Meckler has been involved in politics since she was 8 years old; her father, Mark Meckler, co-founded the tea party movement and is the current president of Citizens for Self-Governance. Mark Meckler has great enthusiasm for these students’ work.
“We are very proud of the student leaders who chartered the first campus Citizens for Self-Governance club in the nation at Hillsdale College,” Mark Meckler told The Collegian. “This is an historic event for our organization, and it is fitting that this first should take place at Hillsdale, an institution dedicated to the same principles which guide CSG.”
That same enthusiasm can be seen in Meckler’s devotion to her new club.
“The solution to the problem in D.C. comes from the grassroots,” Meckler said. “It gives me an immense amount of faith traveling across country and seeing that these people are active in their local politics and care about what’s happening on their community level, instead of just hopping from L.A. to D.C. to New York and only talking to people who are on the bureaucracy.”
The club’s other co-president, junior Weston Boardman, interned for the Convention of States national Team as the president of CSG’s personal intern and as the Intern Coordinator for the parent organization. Boardman said he feels the club brings an invaluable perspective to Hillsdale students.
“Hillsdale is sheltered,” Boardman said. “The college inculcates us with the high, lofty principles and teachings, but this practice can often lead students to become out of touch with real world. CSG brings a dose of reality that is desperately needed here.”
For students who join the club, weekly meetings will be just one of the opportunities to get involved. The club has connections to internships for their parent organization as well as opportunities for lobbying for legislation which aligns with their agenda.
Meckler and Boardman share passion for the Convention of States Project, which translates to their work in creating the club.
“These two have the best leadership capabilities and know-how for the job,” McPherson said. “CSG is basically Lucy’s life. She and her father are politically well connected, and she is blessed with great communication skills, among a wealth of other skills, that makes her the best for this job. Weston has worked for Lucy’s dad for almost a year now, and his passion and fire for the cause are unmatched.”