Story by Bailey Walker
This school year has brought an explosion of political activism to campus. Four different politically-oriented groups have established themselves in the 2017-2018 school year. In order of funding, they are: Democratic Socialists of America, Rose State Political Science Club (formerly Civox), the College Republicans, and Turning Point USA. Notably, this list leans to the right as Rose is home to one left group, one non-partisan group and two right-wing groups. The two conservative groups offer students different options.
The College Republicans was founded by Josey Meyers, a criminal justice major, and is sponsored by Social Sciences Professor Joetta Gatliff. Meyers seeks to change the narrative surrounding the Republican Party, wanting to dispel accusations of hate, bigotry and racism. College Republicans plan to conduct canvassing campaigns for Republican candidates, and at meetings students can find conservatives talking about current events in the U.S.
Rose State’s Turning Point USA chapter has close ties to the College Republicans. Founded by the College Republican’s Vice President of Public Relations Sean Roemer, a business major, TPUSA kicked off in late February. Advised by Social Sciences Professor James Davenport, Turning Point’s key platform is anti-socialist and pro-capitalist, associating with figures such as Tomi Lahren, Milo Yiannopoulos and former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro. TPUSA seeks to promote free market policy, reduce the scope of government, and promote conservative ideals on college campuses.
“I want to show there is another side to campus,” Roemer said. “Furthermore, I looked at how socialism has been implemented throughout the years and it has always failed. Just look at Social Security in the United States. It is on the verge of being bankrupt and will not allow people to get what they agreed to. This is because America began to trust the government too much.”
While some groups blame the lack of funding for Social Security on over-trust of government officials, political groups differ on the cause. Jean Folger and Tim Worstall from Investopedia and Forbes, respectively, attribute the shortfalls of Social Security to tax policy not keeping pace with demographic shifts, as the elderly population of the U.S. is on track to double in only 40 years.
The national organization TPUSA and subsequently local chapters who benefit from national funding are different from the College Republicans, notably in their affiliate groups. TPUSA National lists the David Horowitz Freedom Center as a partner organization, which has been labeled as an extremist anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim hate group by the hate group indexer and civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center. Additionally, according to tax data analyzed by the IB Times, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is a TPUSA donor, has been labeled an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the SPLC.
Whatever your flavor of conservatism, whether your tendencies leads you to the bottom right of the political chart—anarcho-capitalist or the moderate right—Rose State has the club for you.
The College Republicans meet at 2:30 p.m. every other Tuesday in Social Sciences, Room 135. This semester’s meeting dates are April 10, 24 and May 8.
Turning Point USA meets at 4 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday in Social Sciences, Room 230/231.
The 15th Street News is a student publication at Rose State College.