College Democrats abstain from endorsing USG candidates

Matt Lofgren

For the first time in recent years, the Kent State College Democrats will not be endorsing any candidates running for a position on the Undergraduate Student Government.

Based on a decision made by the College Democrats executive board of nine members, president Jake Green said the group will focus their attention on larger, national issues that effect Kent State as a whole.

“We decided as an executive board that our purpose is to participate on partisan activities; partisan elections,” Green said. “We have a lot on our plate, and we decided to focus our efforts on more partisan activities.”

In a typical USG election, the College Democrats are sought out by a person running for a position on USG looking for an endorsement to help students who are interested in a candidate’s party affiliation. This year, however, candidates will have to look for the support of other organizations for endorsements.

“In the past, we have absolutely participated in the Undergraduate Student Government elections,” Green said. “So this a new decision for the organization.”

Current executive director Evan Gildenblatt said when he ran a year ago, the College Democrats endorsed him to help get his name out to the university.

“I actually approached them at first seeking an endorsement, there at the very least seeking support,” Gildenblatt said. “I went and spoke to their group, and their executive board voted and they voted to endorse me for the election.”

With several national issues dividing the country, the College Democrats said in a press release that they will shift their focus to local, state and national campaigns.

“We just decided that there’s a lot in the national, local and state level that requires our attention that we can focus on in regards to campus politics,” Green said. “President Obama outlined a lot of things his administration is going to be working on and they’re overwhelmingly things that we support and we will be working on to get support at the campus level.”

These topics include those that have been addressed by the president on the national scale, and locally as students and professors debate on Kent State’s policy on gun control. With schools and universities as the scene of more violent occurrences, the topic of guns on campus is in debate.

Green said that the College Democrats will run a hard campaign to affect the gun control laws.

“You’re going to be seeing a lot from us in regards to guns,” Green said. “We think that our nation is in the midst of a big debate and we want to push for legislation to go forth that directly effects the state of guns in this country.”

Green also said the group will work for more affordable rates for students to obtain a college education.

“President Obama outlined the need for even greater federal student aid, and we think that’s absolutely incredible,” Green said. “We continue pushing for that while pushing for lower overall college costs.”

Matt Lofgren is the student politics reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected].