Political groups on campus endorse affiliated party’s nominee

September 26, 2016

Kyle Guthrie

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With the Nov. 8 presidential elections approaching, the political groups on campus want to encourage students to update their voter registrations.

Students may still be deciding which candidate will best support their interests from the Oval Office.

The College Democrats and College Republicans are two political clubs on campus. Each club is supporting their party’s presidential nominee.

Each group supports their club’s endorsement and hope to raise awareness for their respective candidates.


UCCS Young Americans for Liberty

The Young Americans for Liberty president Richard Wickham said in an email that he is unable to speak on the presidential candidates or election.

This club meets every Wednesday in the UC at 5 p.m. More information can be found on their Mountain Lion Connect page.


UCCS College Democrats

The College Democrats, led by president Mary Claire Rizzardi and vice president Kayla Kaminski, are endorsing Hillary Clinton.

Rizzardi, a junior psychology major, trusts that Clinton is the best candidate for the presidency based on her qualifications and the belief that she will continue the work that Obama accomplished in his presidential terms.

“We believe her platform aligns with the goals of our club: to stress progressive ideals that we see as important,” said Kaminski.

Clinton’s experience in the White House as secretary of state strengthens her candidacy, according to Rizzardi.

“As secretary of state, she was key in bringing down Osama Bin Laden. I believe that she wants to protect our men and women overseas who are protecting us. I believe she has a lot to represent in the (U.S.) in a good foreign policy position,” said Rizzardi.

While Clinton’s political experience qualifies her to run for president, her greatest weakness, public speaking, may hinder her, according to Rizzardi.

“She’s not terrible at it. Of course, she is a lifelong politician, but it’s not her (strength). She’s not as good as Bill or as Obama at speaking,” Rizzardi said.

The UCCS College Democrats members also supported Bernie Sanders, but these supporters want to see Clinton take office in 2017, according to Kaminski, sophomore sports management major.

“Many members of our club who fully supported Sanders are now supporting (Clinton), as (Sanders) really pushed Hillary to become more progressive,” said Kaminski. “We are fully supportive of them, and we hope to help get her elected in November.”

Voters should not only consider Clinton’s gender, but her strengths when making their choice this November, Rizzardi explained.

“There are a lot of accusations right now that women such as myself, support secretary Clinton just because she’s a woman. I don’t just support her because she’s a woman, I support her because she’s the strongest candidate, as do most of my officers and the rest of the club,” Rizzardi said.

“We don’t need to become great again; we already are great.”

Both political groups hold voter registration drives, coordinate local campaigns and meet to discuss politics.

The UCCS College Democrats will meet to watch the presidential debate on Monday, Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. in UC 224.


College Republicans at UCCS

The College Republicans, led by president Kaitlyn Cameron and vice president Steve Bates, support Donald Trump.

Their support for Trump does not stem from an obligation to support the RNC, but a genuine approval of his policies and actions.

“I see tons of people excited about Trump on a level that I’ve never seen for other candidates. I saw it for Bernie (Sanders), but after he dropped out, all that enthusiasm on the democratic side fizzled,” said junior communication major Bates.

“(Trump’s policies are) more in line with what the college believes in, and what we believe in, than the other candidate’s (policies).”

According to Cameron, a sophomore political science major, Trump’s lack of political experience is seen as good for some people, but is a concern for others.

There has been mixed reception surrounding the rhetoric in Trump’s speeches, but his public speaking is a one of the reasons that he has so many supporters, Bates explained.

“He just says whatever he wants, and while I think that’s one of his greatest strengths, sometimes people have to do a double take and say, ‘wait, what does that mean?’” Bates said.

Trump’s reputation for being racist has been one of the most memorable criticisms made against his campaign, according to Bates.

Cameron and Bates don’t believe Trump is racist based on his previous support for minorities.

“I think (the racist angle) is blown out of proportion. It is part of that umbrella of political correctness that permeates our politics so much,” said Cameron.

“If you look at things in Donald Trump’s past, he works more for minorities than he ever did against them,” said Bates.

Bates believes Trump will protect the country’s interests through policies like the wall on the Mexico/U.S. border, another one of Trump’s campaign points that has been called discriminatory.

“You could say there is prejudice to some of the things he says, but what he is really looking out for is the American people,” said Bates.

“I don’t think it’s racist as a leader of the country to put the country before its non-citizens. (Racist) is just a word thrown around to delegitimize someone’s argument.”

The College Republicans will meet in University Center 302 on Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. to watch the presidential debate.