Political organization begins at WU

Diversity, progression and activism are some of the main ideals a new student organization hopes to bring to Washburn University in the coming year. This is no different with The Washburn University College Democrats, established during the summer and already has several members.

“I asked around and found that there wasn’t a college democratic group on campus. We saw the need to start one,” said Jeremiah O’Dell, president of the Washburn University College Democrats.

Even though the Washburn University College Democrats have not yet had an official meeting they already have established some distinct goals.

“One of our major focuses is voter registration,” said O’Dell. “Voter registration laws are changing in 2013 to require people to provide proof of U.S. citizenship and photo IDs. We want to get as many registered before that comes into effect.”

The Washburn University College Democrats will host voter registration drives this fall semester to help accomplish this goal.

“We are working on having voter registration drives to get young people to vote and to educate students on local and national issues,” said Dallas Hathaway, vice president of the Washburn University College Democrats and freshman in political science.

On Sept. 8 the Washburn University Student Democrats will host its first event at the Washburn International House from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. State Democratic Chairwoman Joan Wagnon, will be the featured speaker.

“She is going to talk about the new voting bill and how to stop it because it is unconstitutional,” said O’Dell. “She will also talk about what the youth can do to help win back some democratic seats.”

The organization’s first meeting will be held in the Vogel room of the Memorial Union on Aug. 26, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Their regular meeting time will be the second Thursday of the month in the Crane room of the Union from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

“We also will be working on some community service projects as well as social events,” said Hathaway.

The Washburn University College Democrats is open to any student that is a registered democrat, under the age of 35 and taking at least six credit hours. The group hopes that more students will bring fresh ideas to campus and promote Democratic candidates.  

“We are just trying to spread democratic philosophies around campus,” said O’Dell. “We want to keep the campus progressive.”