A college campus is expected to mold future leaders, encourage diversity in opinions and thoughts and help students find their path. The NAU College Republicans club is one of the places where students can find a comfortable place to represent themselves.
According to the True Blue Connects website, “The NAU College Republicans are dedicated to promoting modern Republican ideology to NAU’s campus, while providing support to Republican candidates, representatives and students around the state.”
This club allows students to look at different perspectives and learn more about what others believe in. The College Republicans club gives students a place to share similar views and discuss the current political climate.
Senior Steve Marin is a club member who said he enjoys being able to share his views with others.
“The university would be pretty boring if there was only one political club,” Marin said. “There will always be situations where people have different views and different ideas, and it’s important that people can share them with like-minded people without the fear of being called out.”
He said having multiple political clubs present on campus is another factor as to why he’s interested in the club. Marin said it’s important to have an opposing view because others may see something that can change their perspective. When done correctly, having multiple political clubs can be mutually beneficial, Marin said.
There are stereotypes that follow every political party, and Marin wants people to know the College Republicans are very tolerable and may not be what one expects. He said as a Latinx man, joining this club and being welcomed with open arms was a different feeling because other members didn’t care about the color of his skin.
With this, he was able to bring his own thoughts and perspectives to conversations just as other members were. The club has members from similar backgrounds, and they’re able to come together based on personal experiences and can discuss how they think certain policies may play out based on their experiences.
“We talk about serious issues, but we have fun with it,” Marin said. “The club is a great place to meet people and to share ideas. We are welcoming and really don’t care where you politically align yourself.”
Marin said the College Republicans had people come from different clubs to debate and some found their meetings to be a welcoming environment.
The club also allows for members to grow as they continue being active participants. Junior Joseph Divelbiss is the club’s president and became involved with the College Republicans his freshman year, then climbed up the ranks.
Divelbiss said a couple of reasons he is involved in the club is because of other members and the opportunities he’s given to be politically involved.
“The club allows for me to be around like-minded individuals and be involved in the community,” Divelbiss said.
He helps organize meetings and events for the organization, as well as listen to and meet with local and state leaders. Divelbiss said he’s also been able to volunteer with local candidates and learn about their campaigns.
Divelbiss said he believes this club is important on a college campus because it gives students the opportunity to be involved and voice their opinions.
College Republicans faculty adviser Stephen Nuño-Perez has been involved with the club for the last 12 years. He said the club is different every year and truly relies on the interests of students. If students find being politically active important, they will find a way to be involved and create something new in the club.
“We live in a democracy, which requires participation,” Nuño-Perez said. “It requires genuine conversation about issues, so that we may come together collectively to make decisions about the values of our society and the priorities of our government. This club is a part of that conversation. The more that participate, the better.”
Although the club is open to everyone, it is politically-charged and has a specific goal. Members want Republican views to be represented in communities and they support Republican candidates, agendas and ideals.
Getting involved with a political campus club is an option available to those who want to learn more about the governmental spectrum. The lasting relationships made between members can be beneficial now and in the future.