Political groups begin plans for future

Jennifer Nacin

Now that the presidential election and all the work that came with it is over, ISU political groups have time to kick back, relax and plan for next year.

Gabriel Whitaker, president of ISU Democrats, said with the election out of the way, the group can now start making plans for the coming semester.

Whitaker, junior in public service and administration in agriculture, said nothing has been finalized, but plans to take a trip to the presidential inauguration in January are in the works.

“Right now, we’ve got a few people who are making plans for the inauguration. We might have a group of people go down and protest it,” Whitaker said.

Other plans for the spring include lobbying the Iowa Legislature and giving back to the community through philanthropy and issue education, Whitaker said.

Erica Carnes, vice president of the ISU Democrats and senior in political science, said issue education is important because it allows individuals to learn more about what they care about.

“We are continuing to educate people on democratic views,” Carnes said. “I feel that America is very uneducated on certain issues, and that’s why I think we lost the election.”

Whitaker said the group’s workload has substantially decreased since the election, but member turnout and participation in the ISU Democrats is the same.

“It hasn’t really gone down,” Whitaker said. “After the election, we had just as many — if not more — participants.”

Louis Kishkunas, president of the ISU College Republicans and junior in political science, said the number of active group members seems to have remained the same, but he added that there hasn’t been many opportunities to be active since the election ended.

Kishkunas said the group plans to increase Republican awareness and campus education through debates with the ISU Democrats, although nothing has been decided yet.

He said there is a possibility the group will join with the ISU Democrats to present a round-table discussion television show that could be aired on ISU TV.

Nicole Asmussen, ISU College Republicans vice president and senior in political science, said more students can learn about where they really stand on issues by participating in or listening to political debates.

“There’s a lot of people who are able to be convinced one way or another on issues our group cares about,” Asmussen said. “Debates and forums allow this to happen.”

She said the group plans to end the fall semester by sending Christmas cards to troops in Iraq and by celebrating the presidential inauguration in some way.

Jeremy Oehlert, president of the ISU Libertarians and Daily columnist, said the ISU Libertarians are now in a planning phase. He said the group will be focusing on member recruitment and working together with similar groups on campus. This semester, it worked with groups such as the ISU Democrats and the American Civil Liberties Union.

“We definitely work together on issues we share in common,” Oehlert said.