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Disappointed student starts politcal club

Elizabeth Fernandez, Editor in Chief

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Bakersfield College student and physics major Maximus Sallam, 25, has founded the first Libertarian Club on campus. After being disappointed with recent events and government policies, Sallam said he decided to revisit an ideology he had initially been introduced to in high school.

“I considered myself a libertarian because somebody told me that libertarians believe in liberty, and somebody said that it’s the best of the Republican and Democratic Party,” he said. “I didn’t really pay any attention to it until a few months ago where I started to do more research into politics because I wasn’t happy.”

Although he said he had no business in politics previously, he said his escalating disappointment in the government fueled his decision to start the club.

“Liberty is the most important thing to me, and it’s why I wanted to start the Libertarian Club,” he said. “I want other people to be aware that there are other options besides the progressive democrat and Republican Party — other viable options.”

Citing his background as a veteran, Sallam said he was further motivated.

“This is exactly what I even joined the military for. [It] was to protect people’s freedom, protect what they own, protect their rights as individuals, and protect their rights economically.”

Sallam then approached two of his friends and fellow students Shanara Cruz, 20, and Brian Becker, 19, and asked if they would be interested in founding a club based on the Libertarian Party’s philosophy.

“I admire his passion for starting the club,” said Cruz, a photography major. “There are a lot of people that say, ‘Oh, you’re a libertarian nothing gets done.’ At least this club is to promote more awareness, bring people to see that it can be [done].”

Sallam, who will be active as the Libertarian Club’s president, said the first step would be “disseminating” information and gaining members before deciding what topics and issues to tackle as a club. Sallam emphasized the importance of effecting change in a positive way and stated that the club would put forth petitions rather than resorting to methods of social disruption.

“Here in the United States they tend to get out of hand and people don’t take them seriously,” he said and described libertarianism as very non-violent and non-destructive. If something comes up during a meeting or the club decides it wants an unjust law repealed, Sallam said he wants to handle things professionally.

“At its heart, pure libertarianism is pure anarchy. And I myself am 100% pure libertarian, but I do agree that government is there to be an extension to help the people. There are things that need to be addressed,” he added about matters he hopes to discuss.

The Libertarian Club aims to raise overall awareness about politics and educate those interested in joining. Students like Becker, who helped start the club and acts as treasurer, said he had no idea what his political affiliation was until he participated in a class exercise where the instructor asked the students questions about their political beliefs.

“I think that more people are libertarian that just don’t realize it,” said Sallam. “My friends that vote democrat vote because they believe in social liberty, and my friends who vote republican vote because they want economic liberty.”

The three founders said that the club is not exclusive to libertarian students, alumni, or staff because the club is an extension of the Kern County party. “I strongly recommend whether people are republican, democrat, independent, or don’t even know, to join just so they can have a feel or an idea or a different perspective of what’s going on in the political atmosphere,” he said.

Cruz also described the club as another class and a place for students to learn. “Like I said, a lot of younger people — even if you’re in college — they don’t really know that much or they’re too busy to really care for anything political, or too intimidated to join the actual Kern County party,” she said. “It’s just a place for us to go to and get started on things.”

Sallam extended an invitation to interested students and said meetings are scheduled Mondays at 4 p.m. in the Fireside Room.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Disappointed student starts politcal club”

  1. Robert on November 5th, 2014 4:01 pm

    Thanks for the article. Check out the world Libertarian movement and the SMILE platform at http://www.libertarianinternational.org the Libertarian International Organization

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Disappointed student starts politcal club