College Dems grow in size, events


Photo: Nick Nelson/Iowa State Daily

Moderator Thomas Beell, professor of journalism and communication, starts the debate between the College Republicans and ISU College Democrats on Tuesday, April 10, in the South Ballroom in the Memorial Union. The topic was tax breaks.

Katelynn Mccollough

The ISU College Democrats have seen a large increase in membership and events since its beginning in February.

The club began with 27 registered members and the goal was to have at least 50 registered members who also regularly attend the meetings.

Abhishek Vemuri, senior in electrical engineering and president of the club, said the club has now reached somewhere between 51 and 53 members, a large growth for a club that is still within its first semester as a group.

“We’ve definitely been able to grow, we’re broadening our base,” Vemuri said.

Vemuri said he is pleased with the amount of enthusiasm he has seen among club members.

Ross Kimm, member of the ISU College Democrats, has been with the group since its beginning and also is happy with the fast growth.

“Our campus presence has really grown and the same core group of about 20 to 30 people have become more and more dedicated and more and more involved,” Kimm said.

Vemuri has been able to set up a guest speaker at every club meeting and felt that having structure to the meetings gives members a clear idea on what they are going to be doing.

“I think on one level, they’re getting a sense of what it means to be politically engaged,” Vemuri said.

He said he wants members to see there is a fun side to being involved and that politics does not have to be negative.

The ISU College Democrats recently worked with the College Republicans to host a debate concerning taxes. The Democrats walked away with the win, but they are hoping for more debates with the Republicans in the future.

“We’re hoping to generate more of a physical presence, especially at meetings,” said Michael Glawe, treasurer of the club and Daily opinion columnist, on the future of the group. “I think the biggest thing that we can do is volunteer work, especially for the Iowa Democrats.”

Glawe is hoping that membership will continue to increase next year, especially with the help of ClubFest.

“I would like to see the Dem program be the Obama campaign’s biggest asset through November,” Kimm said. “A presence on campus for upcoming events because what happens in November sets in motion the most critical time in American politics.”

The club will host an event titled “demSPEAK” from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union. The head of the Iowa Democratic party, Sue Dvorsky, will be a guest speaker.