Club Spotlight: College Republicans

By The Elm - Oct 18,2013@2:35 pm

Republicans Koppany Jordan (left), sophomore, and Daniel Smith (right), senior and club president, participate in the annual political debate between the College Republicans and College Democrats. The event takes place every year during Fall Family Weekend and is open to the campus community.
Photo courtesy of WC Online

By Catalina Righter
Elm Staff Writer

For the politically minded student, the impressive history of Washington cannot help but hold draw, and even the most politically lukewarm often find themselves drawn into action by something about the colonial architecture or the many famous feet who have walked the red bricks before them. The College Republicans is an organization for those whose politics lean to the conservative end of the spectrum. Their mission is to “engage students who are involved or interested in conservative politics on the local, state, and national levels.”

Leading the initiative are Daniel C. Smith as president and Kevin Lair as vice president, along with faculty advisor Joseph Holt. The club meets every other Monday in Daly 218 at 4:30 and is composed of students who are registered Republican voters. While they all share this general view on politics, Smith said, there is much room for debate and discussion within the group. “There’s a lot of openness. We’re not going to throw you out for disagreeing with something.” Added Lair, “And you do not have to be Kappa Sig to join!”

Claims to fame:
During elections, the College Republicans get down to business, running non-partisan voter awareness initiatives and supporting specific candidates for election. This is accomplished through methods such as sign campaigning and phone banking, which is the process of building up grassroots support for a campaign through telephone calls. It is used often in rural areas when door-to-door work is not feasible. Kent County was number one in Maryland for this technique of campaigning, thanks to volunteers like those at the College. For the last town council elections for Chestertown, the College Republicans went door-to-door, amassing votes in support of candidate Linda Kuiper. She was able to beat an incumbent by 26 votes.

Upcoming projects:
The College Republicans are a group that is nearly as strongly tied with the external community as the one inside WC. Every year they host speakers, such as Dan Bongino for this year’s upcoming talk. They will host tables at the Saturday farmer’s market in Chestertown and take great interest in the local politics.

Within the College, they host the occasional movie night as well as lively debates with members of the College Democrats during Fall Family Weekend. Both organizations work together on initiatives like voter registration and general political awareness. Unique to the Republicans is the Lincoln Day dinner in March, a meeting of people with conservative political views from all around Maryland. Last year Congressman Andy Harris was a speaker.

Arguably, the biggest event of the year is the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, which the club attends in Washington D.C. According to the event’s website, it is “an annual event … to rally conservatives, share strategies and promulgate and crystallize the best of the conservative thought in America.” This is where Republicans gather each year to define the Republican Party, and our own WC Republicans are excited to be a part of it.

Overall, the College Republicans are looking to expand the range of their accessibility. Smith feels that “Republicans in general have to ask themselves whether they want to cling to a platform that turns people away from supporting a cause if they want to for the sake of the party” in reference to hot button issues. He believes that the party can gain more support by not condemning all people on one side of a polarized debate. “I look at the Republican party today as having a huge opportunity today to expand their constituents and grow the party.”

The Elm

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