This year, members of the University of Connecticut College Republicans will continue their club’s history of fostering conservative debate and supporting Republican candidates while also taking part in political activism.
“The College Republicans have largely been ideologically driven, and many of our meetings have discussions and debates,” said seventh-semester economics and political science major and president of the UConn College Republicans Tim Sullivan. “We host speakers a lot and candidates will come in to talk about their opinions.”
Sullivan said the club is trying to be more active this year in local elections than they have been in the past, with a focus on supporting Republican candidates running for upcoming elections in Mansfield and surrounding towns.
“It’s not that we’re moving away from our roots of debate and ideology, but we’re trying to do both. Our job is to support Republican candidates for elections, so we’re trying to get that objective done as well,” he said.
Sullivan said there are multiple events the club will be participating in this year.
“On Sunday, we’re going to be marching in the Celebrate Mansfield parade. We’re hoping to get a group to go to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February, and we’re trying to host a guest lecturer,” he said.
Sullivan said each year, the College Republicans choose one specific cause on campus to spread conservative ideals.
“Our main focus last year was the issue of free speech. We mainly tabled in the library and had dialogues with people who were interested to see where support lies for that issue. You always have students that try to disagree and fight with you, but generally it was a pretty positive response,” he said.
Sullivan said the group is currently deciding on what their main cause will be for this year.
“We wanted to wait until after the involvement fair so we can get input from our new members before deciding what our main cause will be,” Sullivan said.
He said the College Republicans will be joining with other student organizations to respond to a recently-passed zoning ordinance.
“The town council recently passed a zoning ordinance over the summer banning students from hosting any club meetings in off-campus housing. This includes the College Republicans, so we’re going to join other students organizations in responding to it,” he said.
Sullivan said another one of his goals for the semester is to recruit a lot of long-term members for the club, regardless of their beliefs.
“I recognize that the Republican party is very diverse in terms of brands of conservatism, so we’re trying to have an inclusive message and not push anyone out because of their beliefs,” he said. “We’re hoping to have a lot of people who are dedicated to the club and come every week.”
The UConn College Republicans meet on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in the Family Studies Building Room 25.
Gabriella Debenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.