Election day less than a month away

The Young Democrats and Young Republicans plan to host a panel discussion soon and will participate in other events to help students understand politics in this election year.

“I really want to have a greater impact in our community,” said junior Caro Achar, president of Young Democrats. “I don’t just want to be a club people say they were a part of, I want us to actually have a goal. I want us to help the Democratic party as many ways as we can, even if it means passing out bumper stickers, making signs, and just increasing awareness.”

The clubs plan to discuss the debates between presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidates Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. They also plan to host a panel discussion closer to the Nov. 6 election to share information about the political parties with those students eligible to vote.

Both clubs stress the importance of informing students about politics. Achar and Nita Waterman, sponsor of Young Republicans, said they want to give students an understanding of the parties by discussing current events and addressing factual information.

“We want to spread awareness about the validity of things that are posted on social networking and how to decide whether those things are true or not,” Waterman said.

Junior Nicole Plane, vice president of Young Republicans said she thinks people are misinformed about the parties and believes students don’t know much of what’s going on.

“I just don’t think that they understand how [politics] affect people,” she said.

Young Republicans president Josh Vandevort said his goal is to engage more students.

“I want to expand the club, because last year it was pretty small,” he said. “And get more people politically active, and involved, not just bystanders.”

Achar said students don’t have to be a diehard Democrat to join.

“You could be undecided, you could even lean towards Republican tendencies, or be under the impression you’re Republican because your parents are,” Achar said. “What we’re trying to focus on is to get people to realize how they feel about politics, raising awareness above anything else.”

Sophomore Connor Seymour, who belongs to the Young Democrats, said he likes meeting other students with similar political beliefs.

“I wanted to join to meet like-minded people who shared my opinions on things like taxes, immigration and the middle class,” he said.

The clubs plan to go in depth and help students figure out where they stand on politics, but Achar said that’s just the beginning.

“What I think we need to figure out [is] why people are Democrats and why more people should be Democratic,” Achar said. “Not only is being a Democrat just supporting somebody, it’s understanding why you support that person.”

Young Democrats co-sponsor Kimberly Stelly said she applauds students who are involved in the political clubs.

“The fact that young people are interested in politics, they’re politically involved, that’s wonderful,” she said.