2008 election stirred interest

BOURNE SUPPORTER: Actor Matt Damon, from movies such as Ocean’s Eleven and Good Will Hunting, came to the University of Miami to speak at a rally in support of Barack Obama before the 2008 Presidential Election. Michelle Wallace // First Impression Staff

Political organizations at the University of Miami allow students to learn and promote the objectives of political parties.

Students who are interested in becoming politically active within their affiliated party or simply want to learn more about party policies and platforms can join groups like the University of Miami Young and College Democrats or UM College Republicans. Both groups seek to involve members in the activities of their respective parties, and to spread awareness of their party’s views throughout campus.

“We try to get our name out at Canesfest and the other major organization showcases,” said Chris Johnson, chair of UM College Republicans. “We also table on certain days in the UC Breezeway.”

While the two organizations’ beliefs may differ, the groups share the same overall goal of strengthening ties between students and politics.

Those in the political organizations can expect to take part in weekly meetings, community service projects and debates like the one held between the two groups just before the 2008 presidential election.

As a community, UM also witnessed just how influential these organizations can be on campus. The University of Miami Young and College Democrats brought in speakers such as actor Matt Damon to encourage students to vote. The UM College Republicans helped run Sen. John McCain’s visit to the BankUnited Center.

“The most important thing to know is that our groups can actually change things and that we as a generation can create a new path,” said Jason Stevens, last year’s president of the University of Miami Young and College Democrats.

Even with the presidential election behind them, things will be busy for the UM College Republicans.

“This coming year will be a great year to become involved in politics,” Johnson said. “With the republican primaries for both senate and governor coming up, we are working to have the two main contenders come on campus as well as the candidates for governor.”

Students interested in more information can visit www.umdemocrats.com or the Facebook group UM College Republicans.