As the 2016 presidential race continues across the U.S., various political groups have become more active. One of these groups is College Republicans.
Anthony Cross, junior political science major and president of the APSU College Republicans, said the group is focused on raising awareness and participation on campus.
“We’re a group of typically conservative people who try to work around like-minded individuals,” Cross said. “We’re typically focused on local campaigns. We do phone banks, rallies and we help secure internships for our members.”
Cross said the College Republicans do not let ideological differences hinder cooperation with other groups.
“We try to be civil-minded,” he said. “We work quite a bit with [College Democrats]. We’re typically friends.”
In terms of cooperation with the College Democrats, Cross cited their joint involvement with the recent tuition equality bill, as well as a more recent incident involving the attempted removal of political posters in the art department by a campus security guard.
College Republicans and other political organizations on campus advocated for the right to keep the posters up, agreeing to put their logos on the top of the replacement posters.
“Regardless of your political views, I think we can all get behind freedom of speech,” Cross said. “If it were anti-Clinton posters being taken down, we’d all do the same thing.”
Speaking about the national election, Cross said Republican support for current front-runner Donald Trump is not as strong as people might be led to believe.
“Most members [of College Republicans] don’t particularly like him,” Cross said. “They tend to lean away from his ‘super-nationalist,’ seemingly out-of-thin-air policies.” Cross also said most of Trump’s proposed policies are unrealistic.
One of the main goals of College Republicans, according to Cross, is the exchange of ideas.
“The purpose of higher education is to challenge ideas,” Cross said. “Until I got to APSU, my current ideas and beliefs weren’t solidified.”
Cross described the idea of democracy as a compromise, citing the necessity of outlets to express these ideas so they can evolve.
“We serve as an outlet and an information tool,” Cross said. “I can guarantee you don’t know everything.”
Cross said students should get involved in their communities by doing things such as attending voting drives or meeting representatives and senators.
“Really, at the local level, it’s easier to work together and find things in common,” Cross said.