Whitman clubs offer political forums for students

Derek Thurber

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College campuses are known for being places where political activity is especially high. Whitman is among those with three important political groups, each representing a different view and hosting different activities.

The Young Democrats have all first-years in officer positions. The club is currently working on regrouping, with their new campaign focused on the education of political issues.

“We are going to try and do some education so that people know what they are voting about, no matter which way they are voting,” said first-year Rebecca Sexton, President of the Young Democrats.

The club is still interested in being active about Democratic issues here on campus. The club plans on having a one-year kick-off party on Sunday, Nov. 4, for the upcoming presidential election year. They hope to attract many new active members in this effort.

The club is active in the community as well as on the campus.

“People on campus don’t realize that we are in such a conservative county; they don’t realize the necessity for the Young Democrats club; they don’t realize that we can change the area, which is conservative,” Sexton said.

The Young Democrats meet on Fridays at noon upstairs in Reid.

The rival to the Young Democrats is the Campus Republicans. Junior Roman Goerss formed the Campus Republicans just last year.

“First semester of last year I felt like there was a real lack of diversity on campus. When it comes to liberal and conservative assumptions there was no representation of the conservative students,” Goerss said.

The Campus Republicans are primarily focused on getting their voice heard in a school that is largely Democratic.

“We work very hard to try and get a voice heard around campus that really isn’t heard on campus,” Goerss said. “I feel like the club is very important for what the college is and what it is supposed to do.”

The club has taken on activities both on campus and in the community to try and promote the other side.

“We held a voter registration drive; we meet with the Walla Walla County Republicans; we work with the national and the state college republicans to coordinate activity statewide,” Goerss said. “We are hoping to bring at least one major speaker and several minor speakers.”

The Campus Republicans meet on Thursdays at noon in the back room of Prentiss dining hall.
The third political group on campus is the Whitman Students for Ron Paul club started this year by sophomore Alex Potter. The club is for those people who support the moral libertarian views of Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul.

“Whitman Students for Ron Paul is an organization dedicated to furthering Ron Paul’s candidacy for president by advocating, fund raising and partnering with like-minded student organizations on Whitman campus to put on issue specific forums,” Potter said.

In its beginning days the club is focusing on educating students about Ron Paul and his major campaign issues.

“We would like to spread information about Ron Paul to Whitman students by setting up information tables, organizing forums with other campus organizations like Coalition for Peace and registering voters,” Potter said.

The club has plans to promote Ron Paul in the community as well, and has hopes of getting Ron Paul to speak at Whitman, but there are no plans as of yet.

The club currently meets on Thursdays at 4 p.m. in the Anderson Hall main lounge, but a final date is yet to be determined.

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