By Jill Miller
Union’s chapter of the College Republicans, defunct for the last year, is in full swing again this school year, just in time for the 2012 presidential election.
The College Republicans is a historic organization dated back to 1892 with the founding of its first chapter at the University of Michigan.
Ericka King, staff adviser, said its prominence on campus has been “on and off” over the course of its history at Union.
“Within probably the last seven years, they’ve been a consistent presence on campus,” King said.
During the 2011-2012 school year, though, the chapter became inactive. Last year, a group of students began to see the importance of its presence among campus organizations.
Therefore, in April, elections were held for officers for the 2012-2013 school year.
Trevor Sewell, College Republicans chairman, said he was inspired to revitalize the organization again on campus after working for Sen. Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign.
“It allowed me to see how important it is for college students to be able to voice their opinion in the public sphere,” Sewell said.
Reinstating the chapter was not a difficult process, and students took the opportunity to start anew.
“They had to get re-chartered with the Tennessee College Republican Committee,” King said. “They took that opportunity to revamp the Union College Republicans and start fresh. Trevor and the other officers have jumped in and worked hard at making the Union College Republicans a thriving student organization that gives back to the university.”
King said she became an adviser because of her love for political science and her firm belief that everyone should play an active role in choosing governmental leaders. As a senior at Union during the 2010-2011 school year, she was the organization’s chairwoman.
Sewell, who is now chairman, carries a similar attitude and holds high expectations for the organization as it is now.
“I hope this organization above all else seeks to serve Union University and glorify Christ through our political involvement and interests,” Sewell said.
Members also volunteer to work on campaigns and assist workers at the Madison County Republican Party headquarters.
“I believe that students should get involved, whether with College Republicans or College Democrats, because politics shapes the world around us,” King said.
There is also a College Democrats chapter at Union, and it will be active again this year, under the advisement of Dr. Gavin Richardson.
When it comes to the election coming up this year, the College Republicans plan to keep busy, whether it’s at their meetings or being involved with campaigns for Republican candidates.
“College Republican members do a variety of activities from their monthly meetings to volunteering on campaigns to helping at the Madison County GOP headquarters and even helping at local political events like the Annual Madison County Reagan Day Dinner,” King said.