The Political Atmosphere On Davidson’s Campus

Davidson College Students

By Laura Candler
By Laura Candler
Unigo Campus Rep at Davidson College
Oct. 10, 2008

Davidson College’s campus has shown a fair amount of interest regarding the upcoming presidential election. College Republicans, Young Democrats, and Students for Barack Obama are three prominent political groups on site who have been encouraging opportunities to become politically active.

The College Republicans’ mission is to “promote and provide information regarding the Republican agenda both locally and nationally, including sponsorship of Republican speakers on campus.” Along the same lines, the Young Democrats’ undertaking is to “promote awareness of current political issues and support of the Democratic party and its ideals through a monthly newsletter, voter registration drives, volunteer work, speakers, debates, and other events.” Students for Barack Obama is a “is a national organization dedicated to rallying students in high school and college around the cause of Senator Obama's campaign for the presidency.”

Within the past few weeks, announcements featured in The Crier, Davidson’s daily e-mail detailing school-wide activities, included an invitation from Students for Barack Obama to volunteer in his campaign to “turn North Carolina blue” by going door-to-door in the state’s “100,000 Knocks for Barack” and an invitation from the College Republicans to view the presidential debates in the Hance Auditorium in Chambers. Also, at least a dozen students gathered around the TV in the Union to watch the vice presidential debate on Oct. 2.

More recently, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr spoke, sponsored by the College Republicans, on behalf of the McCain campaign. Voter registration information was supplied at his speech. Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was also supposed to speak but cancelled “due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict.”

This year, the Young Democrats and College Republicans worked together to receive an $8,500 grant from the “Improve Davidson Fund.” Jointly, these two groups created “The Political Connection.” The students involved in “The Political Connection” visited every freshman hall to provide registration or absentee ballot forms. They are also planning a debate between the Republicans and Democrats on Oct. 25, as well as a party on the night of the election.

Other than these purely political groups, the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity has been registering students outside of Chambers every weekday. They also plan to provide transportation to the polls on Election Day.