After an extremely contentious election year, the Rowan University College Republicans are looking further down the road. The group is planning on localizing their efforts in an attempt to help their party retain control during this hectic political conundrum.
Like the Rowan Democrats and the Students for Trump group, the College Republicans are now focusing on local politicians and elections as an answer to a divisive political climate. The club canvassed for New Jersey representatives like Congressman Chris Smith from the fourth district and for the Washington Township mayoral candidate Joseph Micucci.
The members of the College Republicans mirror a growing national trend among Republicans in general. They find themselves disillusioned from their own elected presidential candidate. Much like the high-ranking Republican politicians finding ways around a Trump endorsement, they’re looking for ways to maintain some presence locally after Nov. 8.
“When you take [Trump’s] words at face value, he sounds like the kind of person you don’t want to represent you, but do you weigh your beliefs more than you weight the country?” said Matteo Iadonisi, club treasurer and dual journalism and radio, television and film major.
“I think we all have a different opinion on that,” he continued. “That has opened free discussion and free debate at our club meetings.”
“I was a Republican before Donald Trump and I’ll be a Republican after Donald Trump,” – christian springer
Club Vice President Christian Springer is not allowing Trump’s words and behavior to sway him from his party.
“I was a Republican before Donald Trump and I’ll be a Republican after Donald Trump,” the radio, television and film major said. “I’m rooted in my center-right beliefs and what Donald Trump says or does, doesn’t dissuade me from that.”
Club Senator Nicole Alfaro looks beyond Trump’s behavior and focuses on what he’s bringing to the table.
“I’m a Republican and I have the ideologies of a Republican, and what [Trump] says may be messed up, but I do agree with many of his policies,” said Alfaro, a communication and political science major.
While members have differing opinions, the club’s value isn’t based on who each member supports, but on all-inclusiveness and free-flowing dialogues.
“When you have a political party that’s supposed to represent nearly half of the nation, you’re going to encompass a wide spectrum of different beliefs,” said club member Brendan Kain, a sophomore philosophy and law and justice major. “There are some people who wholeheartedly support Trump in our club and there are some people who are reluctantly voting for him and some people who are not and those are all valid viewpoints.”
“College campuses aren’t the most conservative places in the world and I feel like a lot of conservative students feel ostracized,” – Matthew sateary
For President Matthew Sateary, the club is simply a way to give students a space to speak their minds and find others who believe in the same things they do.
“It gives students like us a platform to speak. College campuses aren’t the most conservative places in the world and I feel like a lot of conservative students feel ostracized,” Sateary said. “In our club you know you can speak your mind and you know you’ll be respected.”
The members welcome anyone who is interested in politics to come to a meeting. The club meets in room 224 of Robinson Hall on Thursday nights at 9 p.m.
“The whole reason I joined the Republican Club is because I was a republican, but I wanted to find out more about it and learn more about it,” said Alfaro. “Because of this club I decided that I am going to be a political science minor because it struck an interest in me. Anyone who wants to learn more about the party or understand the ideologies should come by and see us.”
For more information about the Rowan University College Republicans, visit their Facebook page.
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