They campaigned on the Diag for hours. They handed out pamphlets
to any and every student they could find. They went door-to-door
throughout the community making sure everyone was registered to
vote for the election.

But the election is over. So now what happens to the campus
political groups?

Although the presidential election has ended and many
people’s election fever has died down, the College Democrats
and College Republicans are still working to raise political
awareness and involvement.

“We’re trying to maintain a conservative presence on
campus,” said College Republicans events chair Andrea Brown,
an Engineering senior. “Historically, involvement drops off
throughout the year for us, especially during an election year.
We’re working to make things more interesting and
entertaining for our members.”

Throughout the year, both groups will put on a number of
partisan events — including hosting local and national
politicians on campus. In addition to raising awareness of
political issues, the speakers serve to clarify platforms, answer
questions and advance their own stances.

“There’s a lot of misinformation on what the parties
stand for,” said College Democrats member Sarah Monsell, an
LSA junior. “And with all these new issues like the marriage
platform, we’re really working hard to clarify the platforms
and have speakers talk about the issues, the candidates and
what’s going on in the world.”

Other efforts throughout the year for both groups are to
maintain their campus presence, prepare for upcoming elections,
continue to register young people and keep political involvement
among students high. The main goal, however, varies between
groups.

Although both the College Democrats and College Republicans
acknowledge the importance of a cohesive community, the
organizations have set substantially different priorities for their
group and its members.

The College Republicans have noticed post-election animosity and
tension. Therefore, they will be working throughout the year will
toward uniting the students on campus.

“Liberals seem to think that the world won’t listen
to their opinions,” said College Republicans Vice Chair Ben
Saukas, an LSA sophomore. “And conservatives really feel that
the campus is attacking their beliefs. I hope that through either
third parties or by working with the College Democrats, we can come
up with activities to do together so we can help others understand
that people aren’t the enemies, but the opposition. And
that’s what makes democracy work.”

By bringing students of different ideologies together and
working to unite the campus, the College Republicans hope to
promote a kind of political activism that won’t cause such
stark division or tension.

In addition to recognizing the need for a more unified campus,
the College Democrats have also recognized the need for a cohesive
community. By reaching out to other campus and community groups
such as the gay and transgender community, the organization aims to
unite the community and students alike.

“A lot of our focus is on getting people on campus
educated and aware of the issues,” said College Democrats
board member Courtney Skiles, an LSA senior. “But we’re
really working to facilitate lines of communication between groups
on campus and be part of a larger effort to unite the community. We
want to reach out to other groups, co-sponsor events and bring up
issues that not only relate to Democrats, but to all students and
all communities. There’s still a lot of work to be done
— and we’re ready to do it.”

Both organizations anticipate higher levels of involvement than
previous years due to the increased interest and awareness sparked
from the campaigns.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.