Welcome, comrades! This page is primarily intended to serve as a starting point for those who are interested in DSA, or have recently joined, and want to know how to get involved with our local chapter here in Charleston, SC.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I get more information about DSA?
We recommend visiting this page on the national DSA website to learn more about the organization: About DSA.
How can I get in touch with Charleston DSA?
There are several ways for members of the public to contact and stay in touch with Charleston DSA.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Join the official Charleston DSA Mailing List for regular updates via email.
- Follow us on Facebook
- Follow us on Instagram
- Follow us on Twitter
If you are a local member in good standing, the best way to stay up to date with internal communications is to join our Discord chat server. If you email us at email@example.com, using the email address you used to pay dues, we will get you set up (see below for more information).
How do I join DSA?
You can join DSA by paying dues on the national website here: Join DSA! If you elect to pay dues on a monthly basis, a percentage of your dues will be remitted to your local chapter by the national organization.
Once you pay dues to national DSA, you will automatically become a member of your local chapter if there is one close to you, and you can change your address with national DSA at any time if you move to a new area.
Charleston DSA’s chapter territory officially covers Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties. However, we are currently the only chapter in the South Carolina Lowcountry, so we encourage any at-large members across the state to reach out so we can help you get involved or get you in touch with DSA organizers in your area.
I joined DSA. Now how do I get involved?
Welcome, comrade! We’re glad you asked! DSA is primarily a member-volunteer organization. While we do have a small national staff, most of DSA’s work is done at a local chapter level by members like you.
Your first step to getting involved in Charleston DSA should be to join our Discord chat server, which is where most of our internal communications take place.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, using the email address you used to pay dues, so we can get you added to Discord! Our Tech Working Group will also give you access to the latest version of our members-only Member Orientation Booklet, which includes a copy of our bylaws and other important information about the chapter.
We also encourage all of our new members to sign up for a New Member Orientation webinar. Look out for chapter emails or Facebook events for upcoming training webinars. New Members may also be interested in checking out some of our other Political Education programs, like our Socialist Night School.
Whether you have attended a training or not, all of our members are welcome to attend any full chapter meetings, working group meetings, social events, and any other chapter events.
How should I use Discord?
Discord is a chat app that serves as our primary means of internal communications. If you are a member in good standing and are not yet on our Discord server, please email us at email@example.com, using the email address you used to pay your dues, to request an access link.
Here are a few guidelines for using Discord:
- While some members may choose not to use their full names due to security concerns, we ask all members to consider using a name we can easily identify you by within the chapter.
- Please include your preferred pronouns in parentheses in your name.
- Review the #server-rules channel.
- Introduce yourself in the #introductions channel.
- Feel free to turn off notifications or mute channels you aren’t interested in so you don’t get overwhelmed.
- Check out the channels for the working groups you’re most interested in and see how you can get involved!
- Keep it comradely. Please refrain from any hostility, and contact our Grievance Officer if you have any concerns.
- Please do your best to post in the most appropriate channels and avoid spamming the chapter with anything that might not be relevant. If you are unsure, feel free to post in the #random channel to figure out the best path forward.
How is Charleston DSA organized?
Charleston DSA is a democratically organized member organization. All members in good standing are eligible to run and/or vote for elected officer roles. Regular elections are held at our annual general meetings, and each position has a one-year term. Special elections may be held in the event of a vacancy. Full-chapter referenda may also be called periodically.
The elected officers are:
- Two Co-Facilitators
- Communications Secretary
- Administrative Secretary
In addition to the elected officer roles, working groups may choose to designate chairpersons, and officers shall also designate a chapter Grievance Officer from among qualified members in good standing.
If members wish to contact any chapter leaders, they should first attempt to do so via Discord.
What is a Charleston DSA working group?
A working group is a permanent or ad-hoc subgroup within Charleston DSA focused on a particular issue or ongoing project. You can learn more about our working groups and their recent activities on the Charleston DSA Working Groups page of this website.
Most of our work gets done through our working groups, and we encourage all members to get involved in at least one. We have dedicated discussion channels for each working group on our Discord chat server.
In addition, any member in good standing may propose the creation of new working groups, and Discord is the best place to initiate those conversations.
Our permanent working groups currently include the following:
- Healthcare Justice
- Housing Justice
- Queer Intersectional Feminism
Are there also national DSA working groups?
Yes! You can learn more about the national DSA working groups here: National Working Groups. Getting involved in national working groups is a great way to contribute directly to DSA’s efforts on federal issues, while also helping to keep our local chapter’s efforts well-coordinated with those of other chapters across the country. Please let us know on Discord if you are thinking about joining a national working group!
How do I change my contact information or dues payment options?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to change the email address associated with your membership.
You can fill out a form on this page if you need to update your mailing address: Change Your Address.
Make sure you submit the address change form using the email address associated with your membership. When you receive the email confirming the change, it won’t actually include your updated information. You can email email@example.com if you want confirmation of the change, and you can also request a new confirmation email with your updated information.
Someone in the chapter is harassing me. What can I do?
Charleston DSA is committed to creating a space that is welcoming and inclusive to members of all genders, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and other identity groups. We do not tolerate harassment, abuse, or harm in any form. If you experience any form of harassment from a member, please email our chapter’s Grievance Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charleston DSA adheres to DSA’s national harassment policy and grievance process: DSA Harassment and Grievance Policy