College Democrats and Republicans

Sarah Miller

With the primary elections over and the midterm elections right around the corner, the college democrats and republicans have a lot to say.

Republicans:

The College Republicans officially became a club on campus in Feb. 2017. Club president and founder, Charlee Bonczkowski, has been working hard to get the club ready for the upcoming semester.

Before she started the organization, there weren’t any political groups on campus. Afterward, the democrats and libertarians on campus followed suit in starting clubs that would service the diverse political views on Washburn’s campus.

The College Republicans have also made it a priority to help their members get connected to political campaigns in Kansas. Many of the members worked heavily on candidate campaigns for the primary elections.

They also have plans to have events on campus to educate people on the political process and what the current candidates for the midterm elections have to offer. Bonczkowski feels that college students should be involved and educated in politics, especially in issues that affect students directly, such as the concealed-carry policy that recently changed in Kansas.

“What the College Republicans have to offer students at Washburn is to educuate them on certain political issues, whether it be at a local or national level.” Bonczkowski said. “Everyone should know the basics of politics because [there] are several issues that affect college students that they might not even know about.”

They are having their first official meeting on Sept. 13, and they are planning on having guest speaker, Scott Schwab, candidate for the secretary of state position, speak at that meeting. After that, on Sept. 14, they are having another guest speaker come to campus, Sarah Hitchcock, the regional NRA grassroots field coordinator. They are also working on organizing a debate between Laura Kelly and Chris Kobach before the midterm elections.

Bonczkowski and the College Republicans want to invite anyone who is interested attend either of these events or visit them at the Bowtie on Sept. 5. If anyone has questions, they can email Charlee Bonczkowski at [email protected].

Democrats:

The Washburn University College Democrats got their start in the fall semester of 2017. Current president and founder, Jackson Woods, wanted to have an infrastructure in place for those who identify with the democratic party to find a safe place to learn about politics and the importance of voting. Woods really felt the hole that was missing alongside the College Republicans, and he felt that Democrats needed a place to have a voice on campus as well.

In the last few years we have seen a society that has become politically polarized, even more so in the younger generations. The ultimate goal of political organizations on campus is to provide an outlet for college students to express their political beliefs.

For Woods, this organization has been a passion project, and he has worked both on and off campus to educate people about the importance of politics. He has recently been hired by the Kansas Democratic Party as a campus organizer. He plans to marry the two positions that he fills to plan events surrounding the upcoming midterm elections. His main goal with this organization is to find and help people who are interested in political activism on campus or in the community.

“I want to help people who want to become involved in activism, whether it be through registering voters, connecting volunteers, or doing canvassing and phone banking.” Woods said. “I want to help people find a way to be involved in a way that is meaningful to them.”

Woods plans on working with other student organizations this semester to make the campus more voter-friendly. The goal of this initiative is to make it easier to register, educate students on their rights and provide more information about voting itself.

Both organizations agree that the most important thing to remember about the midterms is that nothing can be accomplished if no one shows up to vote. So, both the College Republicans and Democrats are placing a heavy focus on education about candidates, politics and voter registration.

If anyone has any questions, wants to volunteer or wants to join the College Democrats they can contact Jackson Woods at [email protected]