College Dems plans to focus locally, encourage friendship

Jackie Valley

The 2008 president election is still 617 days away, but the beginning campaigns are already underway. First, though, the College Democrats are focusing on a local effort – rebuilding their own organization.

While the Democrats took control of Congress in the November election, the College Democrats’ membership shrank at Kent State.

President Donovan Hill blames the low membership – about 12 members compared to upward of 20 last semester – on the group’s “all work and no play” structure during fall semester campaigning for the November elections.

“We were really busy last semester, so I think that scared off people,” Hill said.

To combat the low attendance and lay the groundwork for the organization’s future, Hill said he wants to foster socialization among members.

“I feel like when people are doing it with their friends, they enjoy it more,” he said. “They are more eager to do it.”

In doing so, Hill said, he hopes the College Democrats can become a forum to discuss political issues in addition to the regular responsibilities of the organization.

Last week, the College Democrats discussed the growing divide between the upper and lower classes and the disillusionment of the middle class in the United States.

Hill said the discussions are intended to strengthen beliefs in Democratic issues.

“It will be important that people can come there and discuss things that make them Democrats,” he said.

Hill said the weekly discussion will also prepare the College Democrats for the “Speaker’s Bureau” – a series of speakers who will lecture on specific topics – planned for later in the semester.

Gini Cole, treasurer of the College Democrats, said she thinks that with more members, the organization can begin to focus on smaller local elections.

Hill has already extended an invitation to help Green City Councilman Andy Padrutt run for mayor of Green. Padrutt is a Kent State alumnus and former member of College Democrats.

The College Democrats meet at 9 p.m. every Wednesday in Room 314 of the Student Center.

Contact student politics reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].