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The Daily Wildcat


UNH incident sparks concerns among UA political leaders

Christianna Silva

Nick Mahon (left), president of the UA Young Democrats, on Sept. 9 (Photo by Layla Nicks). Caleb Rhodes (right), president of the UA College Republicans, on Sept. 16 (Photo by Christianna Silva).

Partying took on a slightly different tone as University of New Hampshire students joined former Republican Sen. Scott Brown in debauchery, which has UA political leaders talking about the dialogue used at the event.

UNH students could be heard on a YouTube video of the event saying things like, “F*ck Jeanne Shaheen,” and also referred to Shaheen, who is running against Brown in New Hampshire, with sexist slurs at the party on Oct. 12.

The College Democrats of America put out a press release shortly thereafter admonishing Brown for ignoring the comments of the students with whom he was tailgating and declining to comment on the situation afterwards.

“Obviously, we encourage any candidate to reach out to young voters, but reaching out to young voters doesn’t mean putting up with offensive, sexist comments — or promoting them,” CDA President Natasha McKenzie said in a press release.

Nick Mahon, president of the UA Young Democrats, also admonished Brown.

“It was reprehensible that Scott Brown didn’t address the students who were making those comments,” Mahon said. “He should have right then and there stopped and let the students who were saying those sexist comments know that they weren’t acceptable.”

Caleb Rhodes, president of the UA College Republicans, said what the students said was unacceptable but could not say whether those in charge could have played a bigger role in preventing such language.

“I don’t think language like that is okay, but I don’t know if those people are associated or what their involvement was, so I don’t know what level of control their leadership would have had over that,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes also said there was not enough information to speak about Brown’s culpability in the event.

“Who knows if he heard it?” Rhodes said. “It was probably loud and chaotic. You know how tailgates are.”

Rhodes added that he always encourages the members of his organization not to behave in a manner that is ever disrespectful.“If we ever had a member who acted that way, we would of course ask them [to] please refrain,” Rhodes said. “Comments like that are never acceptable no matter how strongly you feel.”

Mahon said he does not think this type of behavior would ever occur in either his organization or in the UA College Republicans group.

“I’d like to think we at [the] U of A, both the College Republicans and U of A Young Democrats, wouldn’t ever resort to public name-calling like that,” Mahon said. “I truly don’t think that either organization at [the] U of A would.”

McKenzie also said this reflects on the Republican party as a whole.

“With Republicans struggling to win over young people, and especially young women, it’s truly astounding how out of touch they continue to show themselves to be,” McKenzie said in a press release.

Rhodes disagreed, saying it was most likely just a few individuals giving the group a bad name.

“If you’ve ever been to any kind of organized event, there’s always a few bad apples,” Rhodes said. “I don’t think you can — regardless of what side they’re on — that you can say that behavior is a good characterization of any organization.”

Mahon said he does not think all Republicans think like that, but that the language used was an example of how women are sometimes regarded.

“I don’t want to say there’s a one-to-one connection, but that demonstrates a lack of respect for women,” Mahon said.


Follow Max Rodriguez on Twitter.

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