No matter how hard you might try, it is impossible to avoid politics. For many students, college is the first chance they have to make their own choices on the subject.
With the election coming up, there is an evident emphasis on registering to vote. As young adults, college is often the first time many students get the chance to become both politically aware and politically involved. This means it is important to do your research and form your own opinions about what politics mean to you. So as a college student at APSU, where do you start?
Recently, the collegiate Republicans interest meeting was held. At this meeting, students were able to meet the leaders of the club and meet several guest speakers. County Commissioner Jason Knight, Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party Rob Bateman, Treasurer of the Montgomery County Republican Party Brad Morrow and President of the Red River Republican women Cathy Kolb were all in attendance for this event and Rebecca Bret, treasurer of the Red River Republican Women.
Bateman opened the floor by talking about his political experience.
“If you get involved in any organization you’ll learn that what makes it works is everyone working together and having good people fill up all the different slots,” Bateman said.
Bateman went on to share some encouraging words about what it means to be politically involved and why it is important to be politically aware. Knight shared his journey to politics and also discussed how we as college students can become involved in local politics. Morrow shared not only his rise in politics but also shared what factors went into picking the political party that he is a member of today.
Not only were students able to hear from all the guest speakers, but they were also able to meet the board members of the Collegiate Republicans association. President Ian Frazier (Junior) Vice President Drew Burnett (Sophomore) Treasurer Travis Azure (Dual Enrollment Student) and Secretary Makensie Smith (Freshman) were all in attendance and were able to connect with those interested in joining their club.
“The goal was to get everyone here tonight regardless of what political side you land on and I think we did pretty well with that,” Azure said after the first meeting.
Smith stated that throughout this year they would like to “make sure people are comfortable in their own skin and comfortable in their own beliefs.” And “I feel like there is a lot of misinformation and a lot of people are ignorant in that they chose to not educate themselves or that they are just misinformed.” Smith hopes that this club is able to grow and will gain support from the community.
Burnett states the space offered by the Collegiate Republicans can be a space where all thoughts and beliefs can be freely stated and discussed. “Politics influences our daily lives and everything around us is apart of the political machine.”
Frazier said the interest meetings wanted to attract “young people who are willing to learn, who are passionate, and who are willing to not only serve their college community but the people in the county as well.”
Frazier also hopes to serve others and serve the community as well as the individuals. Offering a space for those who would find refuge in this organization as well as grow within the APSU community are values that he hopes are demonstrated by this association.
College Republicans meet biweekly. Follow this link for more information about meetings with College Republicans.
College Democrats, led by Clarmeshia Taylor, is also an option for those at APSU that are looking for ways to become politically involved on campus. Their focus is to educate students about the Democratic Party and enact political change. College Democrats have done work with campaigns such as Jason Hodges, Phil Bresden Juanita Charles and many more.
“Starting in January 2020, we plan to get as many students registered to vote as we can,” Taylor said. “We plan to host events to educate students on their voting rights and local democrats running for office.”
“College Democrats are up and running but next year we plan to be heard,” Taylor said.
Taylor also says that is is important to know about politics because politics “run the world we live in.”
For more information about College Democrats, follow this link.