‘Political passion’

By Kristen Catalanotto
September 23, 2004

Cecelia Francisco

With the presidential election quickly approaching, students are taking notice concerning the importance of this election and are organizing clubs in order to help their peers stand up and vote. Two new organizations, the College Republican Club and the Student Democrat Association are taking aim at students on campus.

Almost every news station is talking about the presidential election that will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Experts are debating what each candidate stands for and what their plan is for the future of America. Students are also starting to debate what the real issues are that concern them.

The media advertises that this is “the most important election in recent history.” The confusion and results after the 2000 presidential election is from where most of the call to action comes from. MTV is trying to make young adults look at what affects them not only today, but also in the future.

Hot topics that have been floating around college campuses are: military draft, censorship and paying for college. Cabrini is no exception to the recent talk and political debates. The republican and democrat clubs can be seen handing out flyers outside of the cafeteria and at campus events to get people to sign up for their organizations.

The thought of having a club for republican students was sparked in the mind of the club’s President Julia Knudsen and Vice President Andrew Mindnich “We wondered if it were possible to create and sustain a club on what we thought was a very liberal campus,” Mindnich said.

So far the college republicans haven’t had problems getting students to join, “It is great to see that we have such a strong group behind us in such a short time. We couldn’t have expected such an enthusiastic response,” Mindnich said.

The democrat association hasn’t had a problem getting members either. Democrat President, Ryan Cox, started the democrat association “With the hope it would spark some type of political passion on campus,” Cox said.

Both organizations have sprung up within the last month and were required to go through the Office of Student Activities in order to become an official organization.

Mindnich says his organization’s main focus is to make sure that President Bush gets re-elected on Nov. 2, while Cox and his members are focusing on a victory for Sen. John Kerry.

Cabrini College as a whole is trying to get students to take notice of the issues going on around the country. This past Friday, Sept. 17 the Office of Student Activities sponsored a showing of the Michael Moore film, “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Neither club had anything to do with the planning of the movie, but made sure they were both present in order to represent where they stood concerning the topics discussed in the controversial documentary.

Over 80 students and several faculty and staff showed up to watch the film. Cabrini was just one of a handful of schools that had the opportunity to see the film before it is released on VHS and DVD.

Democrats see the film as an accurate representation of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001 and the events that followed. Republicans feel it is an attempt to try and sway the minds of those who will be heading to the polls on election day. In order to make sure the students received both sides of the argument about Moore’s movie the OSA office held a discussion before the movie was shown.

Freshman Jamison Rogers, a business administration and marketing major, feels that the movie could have an impact on the election results, “especially in a lot of young kids because they’re pretty much going to take what they see for face value,” Rogers said. Freshman Mary Burgess, an education major, agrees with Rogers, “Kids today are lazy and they’d rather go along with something that someone else said than do the research themselves,” Burgess said.

Republicans and even some democrats see Moore’s movie as one sided. Throughout the film Moore goes in-depth concerning the ties between the Bush family and Al-Qaeda and the reasons America went to war. “I just didn’t want to have those pictures drudged up again,” Sophomore Stephanie Lozowski, a liberal arts major, said.

The question still remains concerning the affect these kinds of organizations and films have on the minds and actions of college students. Any large group of individuals can make a difference if they turn out and vote. Which way will young voters vote? Only the results on Nov. 2 will tell which group had more of an impact on young voters.

Posted to the web by Cecelia Francisco

Kristen Catalanotto

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