Bryan Staul: Future politician

Junior political science major Bryan Staul speaks to attendees of the Ohio College Democrats Winter Conference on Saturday, Jan. 28 in the KIVA. Staul is president of the Kent State University College Democrats. Photo by Jenna Watson.

Meghan Bogardus

Editor’s note: This story is part two of four in our “future famous” series, where we profile students who will have an impact in the years to come.

Bryan Staul was in middle school when he first realized he wanted to be involved in politics.

It was 2004, the country was in the middle of an election, and Staul’s hometown of West Middlesex, Pa. was in the middle of a strike at a major factory where his father worked.

“Seeing that strike and that dynamic between the people who own the means of production and the people who are the means of production sort of pushed me into it,” Staul said.

After the junior political science major picketed with factory workers, he ran for class president once he got into high school, and he has been involved with student government ever since.

Since starting at Kent State, Staul has been involved with Undergraduate Student Government and College Democrats, of which he is president.

“It’s been a very stressful year with Issue 2, and now the election is coming up,” he said.

Transforming College Democrats

Since he was elected president this year, Staul has radically changed the College Democrats from a social club to a full-fledged political campaign organization.

This was partly because Staul had become as passionate as he was during that strike when he was younger.

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Future famous

Future Nobel Peace Prize winner

Future PGA champion

Future fashion executive

This was Issue 2, a repeal of a state senate bill rewriting Ohio’s collective bargaining law.

“I jumped into it in a big way, and I took the organization with me,” Staul said.

Staul and the College Democrats got together with We Are Ohio, a labor-backed lobbying organization and began campaigning against Issue 2.

Staul said the organization knocked on more than 3,000 doors, made 5,000 phone calls and registered 500 students to vote in a matter of a few months.

“All of a sudden, we stopped being the cute little political club and started doing political things for once,” he said.

A future in legislature

While Staul didn’t really want to say he would be the next senator or congressman, Brandon Stephens, the acting political director with College Democrats, said he could see Staul as a politician.

“From what I’ve witnessed, he’s always been a leader,” he said. “This group is closer than ever before.”

Stephens and Staul have worked closely together on the political campaigns of the group. Most recently, they worked hard to get the winter conference of the Ohio College Democrats to Kent State.

Staul said he sees himself more in the organizational aspects of politics.

“I do like a lot of candidates, but I also like the behind–the–scenes guys, like President Obama’s David Axelrod,” he said. “I like the political advisors — the ones who actually make things happen and move those campaigns.”

Staul said the biggest thing he wants to do in the future is serve his party, whether that is center stage or just behind the scenes.

“Me running for office? I would do it when I’m done being in debt for college,” Staul joked.

Contact Meghan Bogardus at [email protected].