Student groups gear up for November elections


Since the beginning of this semester, walking across campus during school hours supplies students with ample opportunities to register to vote, provided by various campus and nonprofit groups. Among registering voters and preparing in other ways for Nov. 8 are student political groups, which are now experiencing one of their busiest times.

Spartans for Hillary, Case College Republicans, Young Americans for Liberty and the Radical Student Union are all currently working to prepare for the upcoming elections. Out of these groups, only Spartans for Hillary is endorsing a specific presidential candidate; the others are supporting local candidates or focusing on issues rather than specific politicians.

“I think it’s important to take a stand and do something in your community to determine what happens [politically],” said Zachariah Zinserling, president of the campus chapter of Young Americans for Liberty. “I definitely think it’s important to get your voice out there, make sure you’re heard, rather than just let things happen to you.”

Georgia Craig, president of the Case College Republicans, emphasizes that anyone can become educated about and involved in the political process. As a fourth-year nursing student, she stays politically involved because she believes that the current generation’s votes can make a difference.

Case College Republicans and Young Americans for Liberty have both existed on campus for years, but as of this summer they are joined by Spartans for Hillary and the Radical Student Union.

Monica Windholtz, president of Spartans for Hillary, grew up in a politically active area and feels that it is her civic duty to be involved.

”The political atmosphere, as off-putting and separated from us as it might seem at times, is going to directly affect our future….” said Windholtz. “The issues affect us. It might not feel like it, but the policies that will be protected or put into place in the next four years will affect us for years to come.”

For Gabriel Murcia, president of the Radical Student Union, this is an important time in terms of issues in society, but a presidential candidate is not the answer. While the group may endorse a third-party candidate later, for now they focus on the issues.


Case College Republicans

Purpose of the group: They aim to use free speech and constructive debate to contribute to an informed student body in addition to creating a fun forum for discussing politics and life. This election cycle, the group is not endorsing a presidential candidate; rather, they are campaigning for Rob Portman for Ohio Senator.

Election-focused work so far: Every weekend, members make phone calls and knock on doors for Portman.

Plans leading up to elections: In addition to their volunteering for Portman and possibly other local candidates, the group is planning debate watch parties, voter registration, an event to educate students on issues and partnerships with other universities’ clubs to hold events together.

Meetings: Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Guilford


Young Americans for Liberty

Purpose of the group: CWRU’s chapter of the national nonprofit Young Americans for Liberty serves as a space to hold discussions and talk about issues that are pertinent to members. Many, but not all, of the members are libertarians, and the others also value freedom and liberty highly.

Election-focused work so far: The group did not focus at all on this election cycle last semester or at the beginning of this semester.

Plans leading up to elections: The weekend of October 14, the group will display a free speech wall as they have in past years—this year’s wall theme will be immigration, in reference to Donald Trump’s wall. In addition, the group may hold more events around issues in this election.

Meetings: Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. in Thwing


Spartans for Hillary

Purpose of the group: This group supports Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy, and they  plan to campaign for local Democratic candidates in order to help as many Democrats be elected as possible.

Election-focused work so far: Created specifically for this election, the group has registered over 400 voters, tabled around campus and held policy discussions.

Plans leading up to elections: They plan to host speakers on campus, hold debate watch parties and plan pep rally-like events to get students excited about the election, in addition to continuing their discussions and voter-registration.

Meetings: Policy discussions Sundays at noon in the Tinkham Veale University Center, other event times vary


Radical Student Union

Purpose of the group: This group provides a place for leftist students to learn, talk and organize, and it’s also open to students who may not lean left themselves but who want to learn more about it. They may endorse a third-party candidate for this election at a later date.

Election-focused work so far: Their meeting topics have been related to the elections, such as one focusing on the prison system.

Plans leading up to elections: There are currently no plans specifically centering around the election for the newly formed group.

Meetings: Wednesdays at 8 p.m., location varies
Additional reporting by Jasmine Gallup.