College Democrats and Republicans gathered at watch parties on Tuesday night to watch election results roll in. Here, students discuss their concerns for the Mitten and hopes for the future.
LSA senior Mary Bridget Lee
“Things that have been issues in the past few years I think will continue to be issues as we see that the state’s government doesn’t make big gains with Democrats. I’d like to see the Abortion Rider done away with. That would probably be priority number one, just any legislation passed to ensure women’s access to abortions to birth control. Another disheartening thing that happened in the past few years was the governor’s slow decision to expand Medicaid in the state, which is something that affects women, and legislation on equal pay for equal work. There are so many ways that we can improve with women in this state.”
LSA senior Gabriel Leaf, chair of the College Republicans
“It’s really tough here on a liberal campus, a lot of people don’t understand who we are, what we’re for, what we stand for really, you know, and I think that’s one of our major problems. I think that we’ve been doing a really good job recently and doing it through social media, and just coming out and speaking. All of us were at the NAACP event and ACL event for voter empowerment. We went out and spoke about, you know, our issues on certain topics: taxes; gun control; gay marriage; abortion, etc. I really think we surprised some people, and I think that that’s a step in the right direction in getting people to understand who we are and what we actually stand for.”
LSA junior Trevor Dolan, chair of College Democrats
“(Republican) Gov. Snyder has pulled out over $300 million from K-12 per people funding and I know that that’s a very huge problem. It’s very directly impacting our students and our prospects as a state. People are worried about the brain drain, but if we don’t educate our students then we’re not going to even have a brain to drain.
“We have a huge problem at the University of Michigan with people of lower economic status enrolling and being able to attend the university. Governor Snyder cutting higher education funding only means that there are higher barriers for people of lower socio-economic status to attend the University.”
LSA senior Sarah Cunningham, secretary of College Republicans
“My parents are (Republican), but I mean that I have sort of explored the issues on my own and figured out where I stand on certain issues and I think that for me, my views on a lot of things are constantly changing and constantly evolving. I think it’s not necessarily the way I was raised. I was raised with certain values, but it’s also the way that I research and the way that I also sort of come to my own conclusions.”
Information junior Madeline Jursek, external vice chairman of College Republicans
“For me it’s all about the economy. I think that’s a huge factor in this year’s elections. I think it’s something that I really want to see bounce back after 2008, you know. It’s been really rough, just, you know, my family’s gone through some struggles. I know so many friends who are working in the auto industry and I would just love to see the economy come back stronger than ever.”
Photos by Charles Kowalec, Zach Moore and Paul Sherman/Daily