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American Youth for Democracy

AMERICAN YOUTH FOR DEMOCRACY (AYD): American Youth for Democracy was founded at Smith in 1947. The club’s purpose was “to stimulate student interest in those issues concerning democracy and freedom which face the college and the nation” and “to provide a means for the expression of organized student opinion and for student action in conformance with the liberal traditions of Smith College.” Smith’s chapter of the club remained associated with the national organization, American Youth for Democracy, but at the same time retained its own autonomy; it elected delegates to participate in national and intercollegiate conventions of AYD, while simultaneously focusing on campus issues that members found important. As AYD’s membership increased, its radical ideas became a source of controversy on campus.

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