While the historic presidential election is long over, political activism on campus is just beginning.
Along with promoting each of their party’s specific ideals and causes, both the University of Miami Young & College Democrats and the UM College Republicans are seeking exposure because the number of participating members before and after the election has dropped substantially.
According to senior Maria Pelfrey, the president of UM College Republicans, her organization had 60 active members before the election, but this semester there are only 20 members involved and attending meetings.
Despite the fact that President Barack Obama is a Democrat, the UM Young & College Democrats also experienced a decrease in participating members. According to junior Jason Stevens, the organization’s president, there were 60 students actively involved during the campaign season. This semester, that number has decreased approximately 50 percent.
“I think it is just natural for people to care more during the election year,” Stevens said. “Plus, Obama was so attractive to young people like ourselves looking for change. People really went out of their way to have a say.”
Both clubs at UM plan to do a service event together in March, although details have yet to be finalized.
The UM College Republicans plan on performing a beach cleanup this spring, but their main priority is recruiting new members.
“It’s all about getting more members,” said Harout Samra, a graduate student and member of UM College Republicans. “Whether it’s getting people connected with internships or hearing guest speakers, the idea is to get more people involved.”
Another member, sophomore Sammie Rositano, has a personal goal she would like to achieve.
“I would like to change the image people have of Republicans,” Rositano said. “The media makes it taboo to be a Republican and the party is viewed with disdain. Personally, I would like to see this portrayal change mostly because it is inaccurate and exaggerated.”
On the other side of the spectrum, UM Young & College Democrats plan on having a “First 100 Days in Office” celebration in April.
They have already booked political comedian Jeff Chrysler to perform at the Rathskeller on Feb. 25.
While freshman Alec Rivera wants to promote the party platform both locally and nationwide, he still wants to see more change.
“My goals are more issue-based,” said Rivera. “This includes working towards a greener economy, becoming less dependent on oil, expanding healthcare coverage to as many Americans as possible and fighting for the greater rights of the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) community.”
How to Get Involved
UM Young & College Democrats
Room: CIB 4053
Monday nights at 7 p.m.
UM College Republicans:
Join the Facebook Group UM College Republicans
Meetings are on the second floor of the UC every other Monday night