by Jacqueline Stoughton
During this time of year as primary elections begin to unfold and lead into the presidential election, colleges are brimming with political excitement and varying opinions. Although the College Democrats club on campus has been active, the College Republicans club has been irregularly quiet and inactive all year.
“We’ve had three watch parties. Two were primary watch parties, one on Super Tuesday, one for the primary results in Connecticut and one for the first Democratic debate,” said Wyatt Bosworth, president of the College Democrats. “We want to instill excitement on this campus over the election.”
The College Democrats club recruited over 150 students to register to vote in the New Britain area in time for the primary election, along with attending conventions both semesters at Fairfield University and Southern Connecticut State University and hosted a fundraiser with Congressman John Larson at Elmer’s Place where Congresswoman Elizabeth Etsy was also in attendance.
Meanwhile, the College Republicans have been dead silent, not hosting a single event all year or making any noise trying to recruit and promote their club.
“As of right now, the club is in a regrowth period as it was inactive until I transferred here this semester so we have been focusing on tabling and trying to build support for the club,” said Haley Birch, President of the College Republicans. “Since I’ve been here, we’ve been steady with our couple of members, definitely not a strong following.”
Although they weren’t able to host any events this year, the College Republicans have been funded for next year and granted a base budget. They hosted their last meeting yesterday to start laying the groundwork for potential events next semester. Currently, the club meets on Tuesdays in the camp room at 7:15 p.m., but that is subject to change next semester.
“We’re going to make our presence more known and will likely plan an event or two regarding the election. Hopefully we can hold an event with a guest speaker, but at this point no plans have been made,” said Birch. “We are going to put more effort into events and tabling.”
While the College Republicans attempt to relaunch their club, the College Democrats have been busy making plans for next semester, including hosting a surrogate debate with the Republicans, promoting the Democratic nominee around campus and recruiting more students to register for voting.
Bosworth explained they will also be working down the ticket, promoting other Democratic candidates and working on races happening in New Britain and surrounding areas as well.
Although they haven’t had quite the same struggle as the Republican’s with membership, Bosworth explained they’ve stayed consisted and have been successful in recruiting members at their various watch parties.
“With a political club, if it’s a municipal year, it’s hard to get students engaged and excited. There’s been an increase in students who want to learn more and get involved. This fall, there will be a lot of excitement,” said Bosworth.