College Dems to host speakers in coming months

Nick Glunt

House candidates among first guests

Kent State College Democrats is hosting several speakers over the next two months. Speakers will include politicians and college graduates in political fields.

All the guest speakers will attend the College Democrats’ weekly meetings at 8 p.m. Wednesdays in Room 316 of the Student Center.

The first planned speakers are three Democratic candidates campaigning for an open seat in the Ohio House of Representatives. The seat is for Ohio’s 68th district, which includes Kent and several other cities in Portage County.

The candidates are Rick Hawksley, Sean Buchanan and Kathleen Clyde.

Mark Miller, Kent State College Democrats political director, said he contacted Hawksley and Buchanan to speak at Kent State. He said he is still working on contacting Clyde.

“I think some of them are just strong in different areas,” Miller said. “I think everyone has their strong point, like the topic that they’re great at.”

Miller said Buchanan is strong when it comes to issues like pension, health care and education. Hawksley, he said, has a name in Kent due to city council and running for mayor, but he is also aware of student issues. Miller said not much is known about Clyde, however.

“We just want to give them all a fair chance,” Miller said, “by coming in and speaking to our group.”

Miller said College Democrats has ties with Hawksley. The group worked with him last semester during his campaign for Kent mayor. He said Hawksley lost the election by coin-toss after the vote-count was a tie.

Buchanan is speaking Wednesday and Hawksley is speaking March 3, Miller said.

“Go for the person that you think will lead the district in the right direction,” Miller said.

Miller said College Democrats will support all three candidates until the primaries in May narrow the Democratic candidates down to one. Alex Vitale, College Democrats communications director, said the group will do mostly door-to-door canvassing for the candidates.

“We will be supporting whoever wins (the primaries),” Miller said, “and we will be working tirelessly to get them elected.”

College Democrats is also having 42nd district candidate Mike Moran speak March 10. Miller said the group helped him campaign in 2008. They may also be hosting Lee Fisher’s political director Lauren Worley March 3.

Vitale has also begun to ask successful college graduates to speak with the group starting March 17. She got the idea from George Washington University in D.C., where she attended college for a semester, Vitale said.

Vitale said they meet a lot of potential speakers while volunteering for campaigns.

She said she doesn’t have anyone committed to a date yet, but there are at least four people interested in speaking. Speakers so far work for the Ohio Democratic Party and the Portage County Democratic Party. Another speaker is involved with the Lee Fisher campaign, Ohio Young Democrats and College Democrats of America.

She hopes their words will act as guidance or advice in what those involved in the College Democrats want to do as their careers.

“I just know that sometimes when you say you’re a political science major,” Vitale said, “people ask like, ‘Well, what are you going to do with it?’ These people will, like, speak what examples of what you can do with it.

“And then also, I’m hoping they can all show the importance of experience, like campaign experience and internships and stuff, rather than just the importance of having a degree.”

Contact student politics

reporter Nick Glunt

at [email protected].