Campus Life

Why the UWF College Democrats, College Republicans Want Argos Politically Involved

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election gained national attention, and for most people, it marked their first interest in politics. It’s only 2019 and more than 10 people have already announced they will be running for the 2020 election. Since the topic of politics is especially prominent today, people need to make an effort to be well informed and open to compromise. That’s why they College Democrats and College Republicans want Argos to get politically involved today more than ever before.

“People don’t see themselves in politics,” UWF College Democrat Secretary Brennen Beckwith said. “For a long time, there was just that one type of person working in Washington D.C., but now,  politics is for everyone.”

UWF College Democrats

Both organizations said they wanted to make politics an open, accessible conversation for all. The College Democrats and College Republicans are a part of larger working organizations: College Democrats of America and College Republicans National Committee, respectively. Both organizations work to spread their party’s views on campus and engage in local and national campaigns.

The UWF College Republicans like to think of themselves as modern day conservative republicans.

“We represent the young people in this ever evolving conservative political party,” UWF College Republican President Matthew Sharpsteen said. “The republican party we are inheriting is vastly different from the republican party 20 years ago in terms of the LGBTQ rights and a number of other issues.”

UWF College Republicans

Sharpsteen is bisexual. He also said he is the only currently openly gay College Republican President in the U.S. Sharpsteen and his Vice President Morgan Ghiorso both said that they are fairly libertarian as well as majority of their members.

The UWF College Democrats say they promote affordable health care and equality regardless of race, gender or sexuality.

“We believe strongly in creating a world where the equality of opportunity is not a privilege but a right for all Americans,” UWF College Democrats President Benjamin Kinnard said.

They also focus on promoting youth voter turnout during elections by hosting voter registration drives.

These political organizations offer real world experience for Argos interested in politics. During election season, members of these organizations get to work with local and national campaigns, network with political figures, travel and so much more.

The College Democrats and College Republicans both strongly agreed that no matter how uninterested you are in politics, you should at the very least vote. Although politics can sometimes be intimidating, these organizations encourage you to do your own research to make a well-informed opinion.

Both organizations believe that out of all of the levels of government people should be involved in is the local government.

“All politics is local,” Sharpsteen said. “I think too many people are getting involved at a national or federal level. I don’t think people are paying enough attention to the local level, and that’s where the major decisions that impact us every day are made.”

President Matthew Sharpsteen (left) and College Republican Treasurer Adam Norre (right)

Both parties agreed to do a debate against each other with The Argonautica as moderator once the 2020 election gets closer.

If you’re interested in joining the College Democrats, they meet at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Commons room 265. If you are interested in joining the College Republicans they meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Commons room 265.

Follow them on social media @UWFDEMS and @CRUWF.

Gina Castro is a senior at the University of West Florida where she is double majoring in English Literature and Journalism. When she's not researching new stories to write articles about, she is watching knitting tutorials or obsessing over Toni Morrison.

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