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Jorge Javier Rodriguez, Founder and President of Drexel Socialists Club

Jorge Javier “JJ” Rodriguez, a second year economics and mathematics major from Florida, is the founder and president of the Drexel Socialists Club. He not only acts as a liaison between the club and the Philly Socialists, which is a community organization that the Drexel Socialists are based off of, he also runs the meetings to help plan projects both on and off campus.

The Philly Socialists have been around for a while, but the Drexel Socialists were founded in the middle of the fall quarter in 2015. During JJ’s freshman year, he took a Sociology 260 course with professor David Michael Kutzik. Professor Kutzik wanted to offer another sociology class for the most recent fall term, which JJ had originally signed up for. Unfortunately, the course was under-enrolled so it wasn’t offered. Professor Kutzik then offered to enroll JJ in his anthropology special topics course called Grassroots and Community Engagement. JJ jumped at the opportunity and gladly took the class. In the class, they not only discussed community involvement, they also met with leaders of community organizations, such as the Philly Socialists.

During class, the Philly Socialists offered the students the chance to go canvassing with them in the suburbs surrounding Philadelphia. While going door-to-door in an apartment complex, the Philly Socialists told JJ more about themselves as well as ways he could get more involved. They mentioned that Temple University was starting a student-run organization that paralleled Philly Socialists. JJ then decided to start one here at Drexel.

The Drexel Socialists may parallel the Philly Socialists, but the club is run autonomously. However, they still cultivate community awareness, equality, and democracy. You may have even seen them during the Million Student March, which took place in November 2015 nationwide as a peaceful protest to stop rising education costs as well as raise the minimum wage. Or at the one-man play they hosted on-campus, “Marx in SoHo.” Currently they are trying to plan some more upcoming projects.

When asked what the best thing about being in his position was, JJ replied, “Networking with people but not in the business sense.” For a long time, JJ has enjoyed being involved in the community. By starting the Drexel Socialists, JJ has found others like him who want to be involved with the on-campus and off-campus community. He enjoys meeting the leaders who are trying to make a difference in Philadelphia.

JJ did say that the hardest thing about his role was that he became “too involved too fast,” though he does not regret it. In fact, the Philly and Drexel Socialists have even influenced his career path. Though JJ is still unsure of what exactly he wants to do, he knows he wants to still be involved with the community. For now, he is thinking about acquiring a PhD and researching, or obtaining a Master’s in public policy and working for the government.

When JJ isn’t running meetings or planning upcoming projects for the Drexel Socialists, he is actively involved in LeBow Bridge, an on-campus organization that is geared towards connecting and supporting minorities in the business school. He loves the sense of community and family that he has there. Otherwise, JJ can also be found knitting. “This Christmas, everyone got a hat,” he said. While we admire JJ’s knitting skills, we also admire his determination in giving a voice to everyone.

 

To become more involved or learn more information about the club, you can like the Philly Socialists on Facebook or contact jjr362@drexel.edu for inquiries about meeting times.

Maegan is a sophomore History major at Drexel University who constantly contemplates double majoring or double minoring. When she's not writing a paper, reading or watching Netflix, she can be found day-dreaming, eating, staring at the sun or all of the above.
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