This fall, William Jewell College is welcoming two new political organizations to campus: the WJC Democrats and WJC Republicans. Both organizations aim to sharpen college Republicans’ and college Democrats’ beliefs on Jewell’s campus through inclusive, engaging debates during each organization’s respective meetings. Junior political science and international relations major Jameson O’Connor is the WJC Republicans President, “I guarantee that all CRs (College Republicans) will not agree on all issues. In fact, I expect, and look forward to, vigorous debate between CRs at meetings,” said O’Connor.
He anticipates that the WJC Republicans will debate, among other topics, “what it means to be a young conservative and a young Republican today, and whether or not there ought to be a distinction between the two.”
Senior Oxbridge institutions and policy and international relations major Rebecca Wolfe is President of the WJC Democrats. “[WJC Democrats will] give members the opportunity to be a part of a meaningful community of students of all majors who care about politics, who bounce ideas off each other and who even disagree in many instances. We meet regularly, so students can engage in these ways and ultimately become more effective and articulate Democrats in the Jewell community and beyond,” said Wolfe.
In addition to becoming more politically educated, both organizations aim to get the Jewell student body involved in local, state and national elections. The WJC Democrats plan to establish voter registration initiatives on campus and host on-campus debates and bipartisan debate watch parties. Both clubs plan to emphasize local and state elections.
“While presidential elections are important and exciting, we also want to emphasize the importance of state and local elections because they affect us much more than many people realize,” said Wolfe.
WJC Republicans aim to connect students to political opportunities in Missouri, Kansas, and the Greater Kansas City area. WJC Democrats plan on making political internships and volunteer opportunities more accessible to students through their organization.
As of yet, neither organization has endorsed candidates for this November’s elections. However, Wolfe says to “stay tuned,” and that she “envision[s] an organization whose reputation is sound and whose endorsements carry a lot of weight,” said Wolfe.
President Barack Obama said in his debut speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 that “We’re not red states and blue states; we’re all Americans, standing up together for the red, white, and blue,” said President Barack Obama. Likewise, students at William Jewell College cannot be solely divided based on their political affiliation, whether they are red or blue. William Jewell students are diverse learners simultaneously balancing a myriad of identities, from tutors and entrepreneurs to athletes and Oxbridgers. “If the two dominant parties [Democrats and Republicans] are not healthy and active, the political climate suffers…In this sense, Jewell is a microcosm of the U.S. and is better served with both the Republican and Democratic parties healthy and active on her campus,” said O’Connor.
The WJC Republicans had their first meeting Thursday, September 15. The WJC Democrats meet every other Wednesday at 6:00 pm. Their next meeting will be Wednesday, September 21.