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Meet your campus political organizations

Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildca
President of the Young Democrats Allison Childress poses for a photo outside of Old Main on Monday, Aug. 29, 2016.

UA Young Democrats

Allison Childress, a political science and urban and regional development senior, is the newly elected president of the UA Young Democrats.

Childress said this election is one of the many stepping-stones she has crossed throughout her history of political engagement.

“I’ve always been interested in politics,” Childress said. “In high school, I volunteered on the Obama Reelection Campaign, I thought that may be the best way to get my foot in the door with the Democratic Party here.”

Childress who also participated in the Model United Nations club in high school continued to participate in MUN throughout the university.

“Joining Young Democrats was the best way I knew how to stay involved, and not just on a purely academic level, but in a very real, tangible way,” Childress said.

Young Democrats are inviting candidates to their weekly meetings this year to speak to the club about their platforms and answer any questions students may have.

Since it is an election year, Childress said the club’s priority lies in getting as many Democrats elected as possible. However the club does not endorse any candidates until contested primary elections are over.

To build awareness of their club, members of Young Democrats will be present at the Club Fair on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Along with electing Democratic candidates, the club is also making increased voter registration a priority.

“We’re really trying to register voters because students’ issues that are talked about in the state legislature and in Congress play a very important role in students’ day-to-day lives,” Childress said. “We’re really trying to engage people with that reality. “

Childress believes that Young Democrats considers itself the party that focuses the most on student-related issues. The biggest one of her concern, and the one she hears the most about from other students, is college affordability.

“Even if it’s just voting, that’s the absolute easiest way to make a difference,” Childress said. “Politics are messy, but they can really do very tangible good in people’s lives.”

UA College Republicans

Sebastian Laguna, a finance and political science junior, is the newly elected president of UA College Republicans.

Laguna said he was involved in the Republican student organization at his high school and has always followed political news throughout high school and college.

“I was lucky that there was already a great club that had been established and had a great history and tradition when I got to college,” Laguna said, speaking about the College Republicans.

He said one of the College Republicans’ main goals this year is to work with campaigns locally and in the state to try and get as many Republican candidates elected as they can. UA College Republicans, like Young Democrats, also do not endorse candidates in the primaries.

“Our other main goal is just to get students engaged, especially those who don’t know a ton about policy issues,” Laguna said.

One of the ways the club does this is to hold weekly meetings, where Laguna said a variety of people are brought in. Some examples include candidates, experts on certain policy issues and people who have unique experience working on campaigns.

“We try to bring in people from across the spectrum of the political scene so that students who are interested know that there is a ton they could do and it’s not just about running for an office or working on a campaign,” Laguna said.

The club encourages its members to research issues they are passionate about, and to personalize their involvement so they can work toward changes they want to see being made.

College Republicans will also be available to meet, ask questions to and get involved with at the UA Club Fair on Tuesday.

“Everybody can have an impact if you’re engaged and learn about issues and find candidates that you agree with,” Laguna said.

While he believes there is a lot of power in local government, Laguna said most people don’t take the time to recognize that. He said informing people on that matter is one of College Republicans’ jobs.

“We’re not all the same,” Laguna said. “We really do have a lot of different perspectives and we really try to reach out to a lot of different people and stay involved as much as possible to make our state and our country great.”

Follow Jessica Suriano on Twittter.

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