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UWRF political groups agree on encouraging students to vote

November 1, 2012

The College Republicans and the College Democrats are putting forth their best efforts to encourage all students on campus to vote.

Avery Hildebrand of the College Democrats said the College Democrats are “getting out the vote.”

His role is to get people to vote both in the local elections, as well as in the presidential election. Some of the things this group has done to encourage people to vote include stuffing mailers and making phone calls. Even though the College Democrats is strictly campus related, Hildebrand personally goes around to people in the community as well.

In regards to speakers, Hildebrand said that the group has not had any speakers in previous years, but on Tuesday Oct. 30 and Wednesday Oct. 31, Diane Odeen, the Democrats’ candidate for state assembly, was on campus, hoping to introduce herself to students.

The organization’s main goals are just to make people aware and to get the word out.

“It’s all about awareness,” said Hildebrand.

He also said that it is just as important to make students aware of local elections because those do not always get a lot of press.

The group also did a “Week of Action,” which is a push for early voting.

Members also have debate watch parties. Hildebrand also added that this is the perfect place for people to feel the impact of elections.

Hannah Carlson, the vice chair of the College Republicans, and Hildebrand believe that voting is something everyone needs to do.
The College Republicans have hosted their share of events as well. The National Rifle Association came to speak about the Second Amendment, and a group known as The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) spoke about First Amendment rights.

Carlson says that Pro Life Wisconsin is also coming to speak, although she was unsure of the exact date. Last week, they also had a “Commit to Mitt” event to encourage early voting.

This group has also had guest speakers speak on campus such as Bay Buchanan, the United States Treasurer under President Ronald Reagan, and talk show host Jason Lewis. Carlson also mentioned that she has had the chance to meet Sheila Harsdorf and Rick Santorum.

She said that this makes being part of the College Republicans a great way to network.

Other ways the group’s members are “getting out the vote,” include making phone calls at the Hudson Victory Center, door knocking, hosting debate parties in the Kinnickinnic Theatre in the University Center and promoting the Student Senate in regards to registering students to vote, as well as ROTC, who is providing vans on Election Day to go to polling locations.

“We are hoping that it sparks interest,” said Carlson as to why they are hosting so many events.

However, student Amber Johnson was not aware of any of the events being put on by either group. “This is the first time I’ve heard about it,” said Johnson. She also said that she did not see any advertising. Student Jen Fairbanks felt the same way, although she said that she would have attended if she had heard of anything.