Splash Biography

AURELIO JAMES ATL CASTRO ASMUSSEN, Junior at Yale studying Political Science

Major: Political Science

College/Employer: Yale

Year of Graduation: 2024

Picture of Aurelio James Atl Castro Asmussen

Brief Biographical Sketch:

"I agree that youth voice matters. It’s important to put ourselves out there to fight the bullies,” read a note sent to me from a NYC high school student about an article I'd written for YCTeen Magazine. My article gave a voice to recently vilified transgender individuals who were unfairly prohibited from serving in the military by their government.

I've always looked to writing as the most effective tool to reach others and create positive political change. In high school, I wrote for YCTeen for 3 years, using their platform to publish political and reported stories geared for high school students. Now in college, I've immersed myself in the philosophies that form modern politics, completing the Directed Studies program at Yale and vigorously reading; discussing; and writing about the Western Canon. I've also been extremely lucky to have interned with the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School and the ACLU's National Security Project--expanding my knowledge about how the political philosophies that shape the US Constitution/US government institutions also affect everyday people today.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

H4680: The Myth of Participation: Is Democracy Democratic? in Splash Spring 2023 (Apr. 01, 2023)
I want to discuss how representative democracy, which many claim is a pinnacle of human achievement in government, is actually put into function in the United States. We will look at the political philosophy behind the system of representative democracy that has taken over the world as the standard system of governance. We will also look at how elections shed doubt on the ability to equally participate in government and examine alternatives to our current system.

H4606: Social Contracts and Anarchy in Splash Fall 2022 (Oct. 29, 2022)
An introduction to political philosophy as it relates to the state of nature and social contracts. We will chronologically examine how prominent political thinkers interpreted what became known as the "state of nature," or a society before formal social or political commitments. We will use their theories to try to answer the question of what inspires people to come together to form political groups, what rights (if any) they give up in that transition, and the relationship between the individual political actor and the state following this agreement.