College Republicans hold first meeting of semester
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 00:10
About 20 students packed into a Student Union meeting room Tuesday night to discuss the business of the College Republicans, plan speaker events and elect a Vice President.
They are starting the semester with events such as a visit from Alex Epstein to speak on energy, a trip to see the premiere of “Atlas Shrugged: Part II” and an upcoming debate between the College Democrats and College Republicans on Oct. 29.
The College Republicans organized themselves by electing a Vice President from a pool of four candidates and began the process of creating committee chairs. The committees operate independent of club meetings and include divisions such as Recruitment and External Affairs which are two especially important committees for the organization this year.
“With our new vice president elected and Mark [Sargent] setting up the Chairs, I think that our Recruitment Chair will be really important in getting things done,” said member Kristine Douglin, a 7th-semester political science and history double major.
Recruitment is the self-stated focus of the College Republicans this semester, according to fifth-semester Political Science and Economics major and College Republicans President Mark Sargent. Sargent spent a majority of the meeting stressing the importance of publicizing through demonstrating on campus and being well-organized through the committees. He admitted that the organization has been through a rough patch in terms of recruiting and maintaining a presence on campus but that they were in a strong position this year.
It is a crucial time for the political organizations on campus with the Murphy-McMahon debate hosted by Fox CT and The Hartford Courant coming to the Jorgensen and the elections in November. Many of the organization’s members have participated in campaigns in Conn., and they discussed the first presidential debate and recent poll numbers. A representative from Paul Formica’s campaign was present to encourage students to be politically active. Many of the College Republicans’ efforts focus beyond campus, and include reaching out to other organizations in the state and getting out presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign message.
One of the challenges the College Republicans face is lack of awareness and interest by students. While college students have notoriously low levels of voter turnout, there is a high level of activism that is to be expected on campus with the upcoming election, as some students like Drew Pett, a first-semester women’s studies major, are well aware.
“I hope to see further involvement in political organizations on campus in the upcoming weeks as the election draws closer and they realize what impact it’s going to have on their lives,” Prett said.