The Return of SDS on Campus





SDS is back, and it has a whole new set of rules. Students for a Democratic Society was once a successful New Left organization in the 1960s until it turned radical. During a 1968 strike at Columbia University, bands of SDSers took the Dean of Students hostage, and another faction later developed into the Weathermen, a militant underground group best remembered for their penchant for bombs.

Now a new group using the SDS name has emerged, one with a penchant for participatory democracy but also with some fairly big logistical challenges. Inaugurated in January 2006, the new SDS has been gaining slow but steady speed ever since, with chapters springing up at colleges across the U.S., including Kent State University, Boston College and UCLA. According to the group's wiki site, there are 148 university chapters, along with 50 high school branches and a number of regional movements. But the numbers are misleading. While many chapters dot the country, individual schools may have only a handful of active members.


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