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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “UA political clubs prepare for “”Super Tuesday”””

    As the political fervor surrounding the 2008 congressional and presidential elections gains speed across the country, political clubs at the UA are keeping pace by encouraging students to be attentive and vote.

    The UA Young Democrats and College Republicans aren’t endorsing specific candidates for the moment but are instead supporting their parties and trying to get information out about the candidates.

    The Young Democrats have been out on the UA Mall, building their membership and encouraging students to vote, said Shannon James, a history freshman and club member.

    Arizona is one of 24 states holding its primary on “”Super Tuesday,”” Feb. 5.

    State primaries are critical for presidential hopefuls, as victories accumulate delegates who inevitably decide on a single candidate for their parties to back.

    The Young Democrats are also focusing on local races, going door-to-door and petitioning for Gabrielle Giffords’ re-election to Congress.

    “”Anyone who does want to get involved with that, this is how they’re going to do that,”” said Clay Shirk, a member of the Young Democrats and a history and political science senior.

    He encourages students who become interested in politics to join political clubs.

    “”With what they’ve seen on TV, it’s an opportunity for them to get involved and see how it works,”” Shirk said.

    The College Republicans have also touted the importance of voting, as well as informing students of rallies and events in town, said President Brice McCoy, a political science junior.

    He said the club is also organizing a trip to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 7 and a tour of Washington, D.C.

    The next
    president is going to affect each and every one of us. Every vote counts.

    -Ryan Burchell,
    president of the
    Students for
    Barack Obama club

    “”I think we’re slightly more politically involved than other campuses,”” McCoy said of the UA. “”I think it’s a good thing.””

    The College Republicans will hold more meetings and related events once the presidential election “”warms up”” in the coming months, he said.

    Adam Donatelli, a psychology junior and member of the Young Democrats, went to his first meeting on Wednesday night.

    “”I heard a little of what they’re doing (Wednesday) night … and it sounded pretty good,”” he said. “”I just wanted to get involved.””

    Donatelli said there isn’t enough political activity around the UA.

    “”I think there can be improvement, especially at this time of year,”” he said. “”You don’t see too much of it around.””

    A prime motivation of all the recent outreach on campus is because many students don’t vote in primaries and caucuses, said Ryan Burchell, a political science senior and president of the newly formed Students for Barack Obama.

    More importantly, he said, students often don’t realize how much of an impact they can make.

    “”The youth made a difference for Kennedy, and for Vietnam and for the civil-rights movement,”” Burchell said. “”The youth was out there organizing and mobilizing and making a difference.””

    He believes this is the election for young people’s voices to be heard.

    “”The next president is going to affect each and every one of us,”” he said. “”Every vote counts.””

    – Tom Knauer contributed to this story.

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