Where are UF’s Democrats?

College Republicans is an active club on campus, College Democrats is nonexistent

By Pulse Staff

After two years on the campus of The University of Findlay, the College Democrats club is no more. With a presidential race heating up, it leaves the political representation on campus unbalanced.

The UF College Republicans is in full swing with several active members. Rebecka Bedard, senior political science major and College Republican chairman says the campus needs to hear voices from both sides of the aisle.

“It’s nice to have that balance. I hope that someone can step up and help College Democrats reform because I think it’s important to have both sides,” said Bedard.

Student Government Association President Nick Thompson said that he hopes College Democrats will “activate as soon as possible.”

The College Dems disappeared one other time from campus, in 2009.

Preston Eberlijn, UF 2015 graduate co-founded the new College Dems in Fall of 2013 after he interned with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and became more politically active.

“That year we were recognized by the State of Ohio College Dems, and eventually the National Chapter later that school year in 2014,” said Eberlijn.

Eberlijn says he simply wanted the democrats to have a voice on campus again and he says he learned a lot from being involved with the group.

“I received a lot of my leadership skills from the organization, because it was small it was important that we remain active,” said Eberlijn. “And, because of the leadership role I played on UF’s campus, I was asked to serve on the Statewide Board for the Ohio College Dems during the 2014-15 school year, which I accepted.”

Historically, presidential candidates visit Ohio often due to its importance in the presidential election.

According to a recent article by WBNS 10-TV in Columbus, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney visited the Buckeye state 73 times in the 2012 presidential race.

Thinkprogress.org reports in 2012, young voters made up 19 percent of the electorate. It estimates approximately “700,000 students on Ohio’s college campuses Young people including the roughly 700,000 students on Ohio’s college campuses will be an essential voting bloc again in 2016 and will help determine which candidate the swing state elects…”

Republican candidate, Ben Carson already made a stop in Findlay in September foreshadowing what’s sure to be many more Ohio visits from presidential candidates over the next year.

For students thinking about getting involved, Eberlijn says the University of Findlay is a place where political awareness needs to be nourished.

“Our campus and area is one that allows for students to remain politically active. Look back at 2008 when President Clinton came to campus, or in 2012 when Gov. Romney and Rep. Paul came to campaign,” said Eberlijn. “Although I am not a Republican, and other students might not be, that does not mean you cannot be politically aware or active.”

Watching the college democrats disappear is tough for Eberlijn after investing so much in the group.

“I am sad the organization is no longer around, but I truly believe that it will come back to UF’s campus one day,” said Eberlijn. “It will happen when a group of individuals decide that their voices and perspectives aren’t being heard, and whether it lasts or doesn’t, it will be for those individuals a place where they can openly express their views.”

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