Democrats start anew; Republicans build on tradition

Submitted by JessicaW on October 16, 2012

Donkey - Elephant Image, Copyright 2012 Nieman Journalism LabAs 2012 is an election year, Fairfield University students are preparing themselves for the upcoming state and federal elections, which take place on November 6th.  Polls are open in Connecticut from 6am-8pm.

For those who currently live on campus and for whatever reason cannot get to the polls, all is not lost. you may still be able to vote by absentee balllot. You can apply for an absentee ballot at the local Registry of Voters in the Fairfield town hall.

If  you have not registered to vote yet, you can mail in your voter registration by October 23rd or they can go to the Registry in town to apply for their registration by October 30th.

Most of our 1073 N Benson Rd campus is found in district 4-33 and therefore will vote at the Osborn Hill School on 760 Stillson Rd. However, if you live in Dolan Hall, the voting districts is in a different district than the rest of our campus, so if any voters have questions they can contact the Registry at 203-256-3115.

Here on campus, Fairfield is offering an election series of events.  The College Republicans and the College Democrats groups are both working hard to inform our community of what is happening with these upcoming elections.

Jillian Delaney ’15 and Tim Manning ’15 are co-presidents of the College Democrat group. Jillian is a Communications major with a Journalism minor, a participant in Students for Social Justice, as well as being a member of both the Mirror and the Manor yearbook. Tim is also very involved on campus as he is a Politics major with an Education Studies minor, a participant for Students for Social Justice, Sophomore class president, a member of FUSA Senate, and a member of Colleges against Cancer. As they watched the Democratic National Convention in their rooms of their residence hall this fall, they found themselves wondering why Fairfield did not have a college democrat group. The two then did their research and decided to start the group up themselves. College Democrats is currently in the last stages of becoming a Council of Student Organizations official student group and welcomes anyone and everyone to join them at their biweekly meetings which are held in Campus Ministry. Jillian and Tim are currently in the process of making signs and posters to display around campus in order to encourage participation.  The first informal meeting of the College Democrats had a much higher turnout than either of them had expected. The faculty advisor for College Democrats, Kevin Cassidy, is a Professor of Politics here at the University and will be helping to guide them as the group picks up pace. Despite not having any University funding because of the newness of the group, Jillian and Tim are currently doing everything they can to kick-start College Democrats. They have already made plans with the campaign manager of Susan Brand, a Connecticut State Representative, who has volunteered to come and speak with the group and teach them how to campaign so that they can begin to become more so involved in the town and Brand’s campaign.

College Republicans has been a very longstanding group on campus but has picked up popularity in the past few years. Matthew Morrissey ’13, is the president of the College Republicans,  one of the largest campus-based political groups in the state of Connecticut and one of the biggest clubs on the Fairfield campus. Matthew is a double major in politics and international studies with a double minor in English and American studies, a member of the peer conduct board, a member of campus ministry, and was director of operations of the club before becoming president. This year he and the other officers rewrote the group’s constitution and are specifically focusing on their networking and raising awareness. College Republicans meet on Sunday nights every few weeks where they often have speakers or special events which help to keep their club members active and interested. This year alone the group had over 100 new sign ups at the activities fair which bumps their grand total membership to around 187 students. As a club they often focus specifically on charities that support our troops to which they give all their proceeds from hosted events such as bake sales. Matthew stressed the importance of supporting American causes and celebrating American ideals rather than stressing only republican ideals. He and the rest of the club encourage all that are interested to contact them about attending the open forum meetings and looks forward to potentially hosting events with the College Democrat group.

Along with the strong presence of these two student groups on campus, Fairfield University is supporting political action by hosting a series of election related events on campus. Learn more about this series of events at http://www.fairfield.edu/press/pr_index.html?id=3541.

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