UConn College Democrats hold first meeting of semester

The UConn College Democrats had their first meeting of the semester on Tuesday evening in the Student Union. (Olivia Stenger/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut College Democrats held their first meeting Tuesday evening in the Student Union and discussed their plans for this upcoming semester in the midst of the current election season. Their big push, they say, will be for voter registration. 

Megan Handau, president of the UConn College Democrats, was optimistic about the push. 

“College campuses are already pretty liberal,” she pointed out. If the push can motivate students to get to the polls, “We’ll be pretty successful.” 

The UConn College Democrats say it wouldn’t be the first time they ran a successful voter registration campaign. In the 2006 midterm, they undertook a similar push and succeeded in registering many UConn students to vote. In that same election, Democrat Joe Courtney was able to defeat three-term Republican incumbent Rob Simmons, whom he had ran against before, by just 83 votes.

Although the major focus in the political discourse is on the national face-off between Clinton and Trump, Handau also emphasized the importance of state and local races such as the 2006 one between Courtney and Simmons. Jacob Kowalski, the organization’s communications director and Daily Campus weekly columnist, agreed with her. 

“People too often ignore state and local races,” he said. 

National politics was still extensively discussed during the meeting, however. The members made predictions about how the upcoming debates would go. 

“I think it’s really just gonna be mud-slinging,” Kowalski observed. 

The discussion then turned to the potential results and aftermath of the election itself. 

“I hope this is just a landslide,” chimed in one member, who also hoped Democrats would not only retain the White House but regain control of the Senate. He was doubtful, though, that Democrats could regain the House of Representatives. 

Handau expressed concern that Clinton, if elected, would be but a one-term president if Democrats could not gain majorities in both chambers of Congress. 

Kowalski raised concern over how the election might affect a different branch of government - the judicial branch. He hoped that Democrats would pressure Republicans to allow Merrick Garland to fill the still vacant Supreme Court seat, fearing that Trump, if elected, could potentially tilt the ideology of the Court out of Democrats’ favor.

The meeting concluded with members being asked to sign up for volunteering at Wednesday’s Involvement Fair, which the UConn College Democrats will be attending. Handau reiterated the plans for the group’s big voter registration push. 

“Volunteers are gonna be super important,” she said, “We’re really looking to get a lot of voters registered.” 


Oliver Peabody is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at oliver.peabody@uconn.edu.