The Monmouth University College Democrats and College Republicans hosted a bipartisan event in the Center for Active Citizenship, last Wednesday, March 27.
Both clubs invited speakers from their respective parties to come and talk to students about civic engagement and being politically active. Democratic state Assembly members Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling, who have represented the 11th district of New Jersey since 2016, and former Republican Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, who represented New Jersey’s 16th district, talked to students over food and light refreshments.
“The event wasn’t billed as nonpartisan at first, but once we realized that we scheduled them on the same day and time, I wound up working out nicely,” said Mike Manning, a senior political science student and President of the Monmouth University College Republicans.
Nick Gibson, a sophomore political science student and President of the Monmouth University College Democrats, agreed that the unplanned incident went well, and demonstrates comradery among students in politics. “It was really great to have speakers from different parties,” he said.
“Considering we had students from both clubs moving between the events to hear what each politician had to say shows that students on campus are interested in becoming politically engaged and learning about issue that are close to home, especially for New Jersey residents,” said Manning.
“Whether Republican or Democrat, it shows that Monmouth University is starting to take a much bigger role in political activism in this state,” he continued.
Gibson said that the speakers were all excited to speak to students from each club, and demonstrated how appreciative that they are of politically active youth.
“Culture of the political science program at Monmouth University stresses bipartisanship and I am not surprised that our students are leaders in the young Republicans and Democrats,” said Ken Mitchell, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Political Science and Sociology and an associate professor of political science.
“I am especially proud of the fact that these student leaders are all such close friends and respect each other despite their political differences,” he concluded.
PHOTO COURTESY of Nick Gibson