Pre-Election Political Climate at the University of Arizona
University of Arizona Students
By Nicole Yesel
Unigo Campus Rep at UA
The University of Arizona is largely a democratic campus. You will see and hear many Obama fans within the professor and student populations. Bush bashing is an expectable pastime with little to no objection 99% of the time, unless you’re among the College Republican club members on campus. “Young people lean Democratic by a factor of 2-to-1,” says Young Democrats president James J. Jefferies. “Our first meeting of the UA Young Democrats had well over 100 people, nearly double that of the College Republicans.”
Election time has caused both Young Democrats and College Republicans to kick it into high gear. The Associated Students of the University of Arizona (ASUA), in combined efforts with both the College Republicans and Young Democrats are trying to register new voters and spread awareness about major issues for both parties. Though no protests have been held at the UA so far this year, the College Republicans hold roadside rallies on campus to help support their party’s ticket. Booths on the Mall also are set up on a regular basis by both Democrats and Republicans to offer information about key issues.
Like most Republican and Democratic groups, the focus on what is important to students varies on what party they align with. Young Democrats focus more on energy use reform, the economics of paying for an education, and women’s rights (birth control and abortion). While College Republicans are also concerned about the shape of today’s economy, they place heavy emphasis on the future of taxes and healthcare. Jill Burger, a College Republican, says, “I would have to say that the number one issue for us is taxes. It really makes a reflection on our parents who will be retiring soon and will affect our futures heavily as well. The less the government is involved in people’s personal lives, the better. I think it’s interesting how liberals care more about druggies on the street getting healthcare than protecting their own personal families.”
While lines are clearly drawn about why students are supporting their candidate of choice, both Republicans and Democrats on campus agree that change, in some shape, needs to take place.
All in all, students at the UA care about the election. Hersh Goel, a member of Associated Students of The University of Arizona (ASUA) says, “Among students there is buzz and excitement because a lot of people know that there is going to be change.” The University of Arizona’s students see their country in need and know that they must become and stay active in the political process to help it get back on its feet. Jefferies agrees with this line of thought; “I urge everybody to get out and be heard regardless of their affiliation.” Change is in the air and the UA is excited about it.