Students Combat the Norm With New Socialist Club


Published October 4, 2022
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The Montclarion
A socialism club flyer inside Schmidt Hall. Laura Tamayo | The Montclarion

For any socialists at Montclair State University wanting to unite with like-minded peers, now is the time. This semester, the Socialist Club is on the rise and looking to make a change on campus.

Riley Fluharty, a sophomore history major, is the club’s founder and president. Fluharty has been interested in socialist politics for most of her life. Being educated on socialism and interested in its philosophy over the years, Fluharty decided to start the Socialist Club because she wants to educate other students on socialist theory and its philosophy.

Fluharty has been at the forefront of getting the club up and running and working out the kinks. She shared why socialism is important to her.

“You live in a society, you witness [the ills] and you witness your own oppression and [the] oppression you do to other people just by existing,” Fluharty said.

Riley Fluharty, president of the socialism club, in the University Hall courtyard

Riley Fluharty, a sophomore history major, is the Socialist Club’s founder and president.
Laura Tamayo | The Montclarion

The Socialist Club’s goal on campus is to build up a network of people who are either new to the idea of socialism or already familiar with it. Fluharty explained what the socialist philosophy is.

“Socialists believe that capitalism is inherently exploitative,” Fluharty said. “The way we conduct business [and] the way countries interact with each other is [by] all means exploitative and only works to serve those who are already in power. Some policies popular with socialists include universal healthcare, universal work programs, an end to homelessness and massive drug and police reforms.”

Conor Curtin, a sophomore philosophy major, is the club’s vice-president. He explained why students should get involved with the club.

“[Students should join] to organize and teach people specifically about theory and [about] what socialism is because a lot of people have a very skewed perception [of socialism] and I think the most important thing you can do is to get out there and show people [that socialism] is not a scary thing,” Curtin said.

Conor Curtin, vice-president of the socialism club, on the terrace of the School of Business

Conor Curtin, a sophomore philosophy major and vice-president of the Socialist Club, explains why students should get involved with the club.
Laura Tamayo | The Montclarion

Students who attended the student involvement fair might have seen the Socialist Club at their first event on campus. The club is focusing on organizing and having strength in numbers.

When asked what questions she frequently receives about the club, Fluharty shared that she gets general questions like if they support communist regimes of the past and present.

“No, we don’t,” Fluharty said. “We’re not a Stalinist club [and are not] supportive of the Communist Party of China.”

Devin “Ire” Triplin, a sophomore business administration major with a concentration in management, is the Socialist Club secretary. They discussed different methods the club is using to spread the word on campus.

“[Fluharty] put posters everywhere,” Triplin said. “Every time I turn a corner, I see a poster and I’m like, ‘Jesus Christ, how did she get it there?’

Devin "Ire" Triplan, secretary of the socialism club, inside Susan A. Cole Hall

Devin “Ire” Triplin, a sophomore business administration major with a concentration in management, is the Socialist Club secretary.
Laura Tamayo | The Montclarion

The club plans to get the word out about events and meetings through the club’s Instagram page and students are welcome to direct message Triplin on the platform as well. The club also communicates through Discord and Fluharty sends e-mail reminders for meetings or general information. Students can sign up for e-mails at the meetings.

During the meetings, students should expect to discuss and connect the readings, provided by Fluharty, to the real world. Some philosophers the club is planning on discussing are Karl Marx, Huey P. Newton, Friedrich Engels, Leon Trotsky and Angela Davis. Members should expect a laid-back and inviting space in which they can participate in engaging discussions and ask any questions they might have.

The club is hopeful it will draw in a diverse group of students from all walks of life. They hope to attract students of different races, gender identities and backgrounds. Currently, the club meets at 6 p.m. every other Friday in University Hall. The club’s Instagram handle is @msu.socialism.

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