With the primary and general elections in progress, Mercyhurst’s two most popular political clubs, the College Democrats and the College Republicans, are preparing for the elections by carrying multiple activities on and off campus.
Although both clubs are not allowed to campaign within campus, they have begun to set the base to what appears to be an intense race for presidency.
On one side, the College Republicans club has had a lot of meetings since the Republican nomination race started. They have watched multiple debates and analyzed them afterwards.
Also, for learning purposes, they have discussions about the race’s rules and methodology, for instance on how the caucus process works. Finally, they do polls to see any trends going on within the club.
According to Brandon McKenna, College Republican president, there are many differences among the members.
“Our group is very diverse. We have a lot of people who got involved in politics for the first time in their lives, which makes our meetings even more fascinating, just because you get to see a lot of differences”, McKenna said.
On the down side, according to him, the J-Term put everything on hold, since many of the members of the club were not on campus yet. Although campaigning is not allowed within the campus, some club members plan to campaign outside of campus and doing their part as American citizens.
On the other side of the spectrum, the College Democrats Club have also kept themselves busy. According to Lauren Murphy, secretary of the College Democrats, they have been proactive throughout this period by attending various political conferences such as The North by Northwest PA Progressive Summit and the Western Pennsylvania College Democrats 2015 Workshop hosted by the University of Pittsburgh.
“We strongly encourage all our members to volunteer or intern with democratic campaigns in the region. However, due to the fact that the College Democrats of America is the official youth outreach arm of the Democratic National Committee, we do not explicitly endorse candidates,” said Brett Swan, Vice-President of the club, in regards to the campaigning projects they might have outside the campus.
Matthew Hatfield, president of The College Democrats, commented on the importance of politics: “If you do not understand how the [Political] process works, you are out of the loop. The more involved you are, the more you realize what is the best for your community, for your country”.
If anyone is interested in becoming a member of either club and becoming politically active as a college student, email McKenna at email@example.com, or Hatfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.