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College Republicans, phone pros

As the saying goes, “Someone can’t do everything, but everyone can do something.”

This is a guiding force for the College Republicans as they head into the pivotal weeks before the upcoming statewide elections. Each member is dedicating time and energy to helping their cause in the closing weeks.

“Ohio is a very important state. Very important,” said Dan Lipian, president of the College Republicans.

“It has been a deciding factor in the last presidential elections and will be in the upcoming one,” he said.

Bob Latta, Bowling Green’s representative in the Ohio House, agrees.

If Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland wins, “you will see more Hilary Clinton in this state than you ever wanted to,” Latta said in an address at the College Republican’s meeting a few weeks ago.

Latta and other area Republicans like Larry Bajor, the group’s adviser, agree that student political involvement is extremely important. Especially now.

“Ohio has been the linchpin in the recent president elections. It was in this past one and it will be in 2008. What happens now, with your help, will shape the future of this country,” Latta said.

There is little doubting the importance of Ohio in the national political situation – no Republican president has ever made it to the White House without winning the state.

This is why Latta and the College Republicans view their student support as so important. Representatives like Latta give little doubt to the importance of student involvement in that situation.

“You are the future leaders of America. To be involved in your community is the best thing you can do. Our party needs a solid base. That’s what you are. We are so proud of you,” Latta said. “That is why we encourage you to do what you can.”

For the College Republicans, doing what you can often stretches beyond what one might think of a regular student organization. There are tiers of involvement that can extend into the wee hours of the morning for some die-hard devotees.

This consists of three areas of involvement: campaign assistance, candidate support and campus outreach.

Campaign assistance means helping Republican politicians conduct successful elections. There are phone banks where each student, on average, offers one night a week to call through Wood County phone lists promoting Republican candidates in the coming elections.

“We call people and offer to talk about the upcoming issues and candidates. If people are unaware we try to tell them what the Republican Party is planning to do and why we support them,” said Andy Hascher, a group member. “It’s hard sometimes. You get some hang-ups and some rude comments, but sometimes you get people who are really appreciative.”

But even with phone bank meetings every night of the week, it’s just the beginning.

College Republicans can also be seen going door to door in many neighborhoods of Wood County, dropping off campaign literature. They stamp flyers numbering in the thousands for mass mailings.

These efforts are all a result of kicking it into high gear now that elections are close at hand.

With the elections looming, there are plenty of opportunities for the College Republicans to show their candidates support for the coming elections. Most poignantly, debates.

So far, the College Republicans have attended two of the gubernatorial debates between Republican Ken Blackwell and Democrat Ted Strickland. The latest, held in early October in Cincinnati, was attended by about eight members.

Campus outreach has also always been an important issue for the College Republicans.

They have invited speakers to BG to help encourage political debate on campus.

David Horowitz, a featured speaker from 2004, has been considered one of the most controversial invites, sparking a heated debate between audience members.

“People may say they are controversial choices, but think about it: If we invited a moderate speaker, how many people would come?” Lipian asked.

The College Republicans are planning on inviting Ann Coulter as their speaker for this spring.

“Whether students agree or disagree with the speaker doesn’t matter as much as them showing up and participating in discussion and debate,” Lipian said. “I don’t necessarily agree with everything Ann Coulter says, but she definitely gets people talking.”

This is central to Lipian and the College Republican mission statement.

Participation in community is “the most important work a student can do,” he said.

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