Sep 262004
 
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

Politics on campus are never in short supply, and students

looking to get involved don’t have to look very far.

The New Voters Project, the CSU Young Democrats and the CSU

College Republicans all offer ways for students to get involved in

political organizations.

The New Voters Project, a nonpartisan nationwide organization,

has been at CSU for about three and a half years, said Joel Heyman,

the secretary and co-chair.

“We don’t care who people vote for, but that they get out and

vote,” said Erin Hickok, the campus organizer for NVP. “We’re

looking at issues for young people and getting young people to

vote.”

Hickok, a 2002 graduate of Iowa State University, has been

working with the organization since August. She started with the

Youth Vote Project in Iowa as an intern and is now helping NVP

register voters at CSU.

“We’re going to go out and register people downtown, in Old

Town,” Hickok said.

Hickok said NVP will also go to dining halls and classrooms on

campus and visit other student organizations.

“We’re trying to force the politicians to listen to young

people,” Hickok said. “That’s the reason we are doing what we’re

doing.”

Heyman, a junior political science major, has been a part of NVP

for about a year and a half. He is also working with the Green

Party in Colorado.

“It’s the only political party that really reflects my values,”

Heyman said. “(We’re working on) a 10-month campaign based on the

Green Party’s 10 key values.”

The Greens are hosting a silent protest in October in

conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Center for Peace and Justice.

The protest will be peaceful, with an effort to gain awareness of

the 49 missile silos around Greeley, Heyman said.

The group does not have a large active group, but Heyman said

there are more behind the scenes.

“We have a core group of about 15,” Heyman said. “But our

mailing list is about 70 people.”

There are also Green Party student groups at University of

Northern Colorado and Aims Community College, both in Greeley,

Heyman said.

Last year, Ashleigh McBeth, president of CSU Young Democrats,

reorganized the group after she transferred to CSU from South

Dakota.

“I transferred here and there was no group,” said McBeth, a

senior political science major. “They had kind of disbanded and I

started it up again. I was very disappointed the other voice wasn’t

being heard.”

The group brings candidates to CSU to speak to students and is

helping Democratic campaigns in Colorado, including Bob Bacon’s,

Ken Salazar’s and Stan Matsunaka’s.

“Anyone who is running this year, we are helping,” McBeth

said.

The Democrats also tailgate at CSU football games to get their

word out.

McBeth said she is supporting the Democrats because of her

personal beliefs.

“I think they’re generally the better ticket for everyone,”

McBeth said. “They take into consideration everyone. Personally,

I’m pro-choice and I’m concerned about my future.”

Beckie Bean, a junior apparel merchandising major, said being in

Young Democrats is a good opportunity for students.

“It’s a volunteer opportunity for people who want to get more

involved,” said Bean, who has been involved for about a month.

“I’ll still stay in it (after the election).”

The CSU College Republicans are also out and about before the

election.

“I just want to support my party and my president,” said J.T.

Davis, the executive director for the group. “That’s the best way

to get involved. I support Bush first and foremost. He’s got moral

clarity like no one I’ve ever seen. He’s a man of principal and a

man of conviction.”

Davis, a senior criminal justice and political science major,

said the group offers Republican students a way to get to know

others with the same political beliefs.

“We’re here to let people know they’re not alone and push the

conservative Republican message,” Davis said. “If you’re

conservative and concerned about what’s going on on your campus,

come out.”

Davis said the group is also trying to get people more educated

about the national and local issues and are working directly with

local campaigns, such as the Pete Coors campaign and the George

Bush/Dick Cheney presidential ticket.

Kristine Palser, a senior human development major, said the

group does phone calls, precinct walks, mailings and voter

registration to get more people interested.

“We work at rallies and got to meet Mr. Bush,” Palser said. “I

think it’s important here to get involved.”

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