Around the nation there is a myth that the youth of America leans to the left and votes blue.
But, even on the Ohio Wesleyan campus, which many consider to be extremely liberal, young Republicans are adamant about their Republican values and continue to find hope in the red.
Though many consider themselves to be Republicans, the word is often used as an umbrella to classify a wide array of conservative beliefs.
Sophomore Tim Alford is the President of OWU’s chapter of College Republicans.
Unlike the previous president of the club, Spencer Meads (’11), Alford is a Moderate Conservative.
He said he wants to defeat Obama in the 2012 election but his overarching goal is to make students aware of political issues and give them the information they need to make informed decisions.
Alford said he feels being a Republican is often looked at as a bad thing on the OWU campus but he is open to all political views and stresses the right for everyone to have a valued opinion.
Drew Peterson, Interim Assistant Director of Residential Life, is the staff adviser for the club.
Peterson was a member of College Republicans during his undergraduate studies and has been involved with the OWU chapter, as adviser, since 2008.
He said he became the club’s staff adviser because he wants students to gain an appreciation for participating in political activities.
“Many students no longer think of political work as a service to the public,” Peterson said. “While community service hours are on the rise, voting turnouts decline. I hope that students participating in politically affiliated groups can see some ways in which their involvement has a meaningful influence on the outcome of political events, local, state and/or national (levels).”
The club’s weekly meetings take place at 7:30 p.m. on Weds. nights in the Media Room in the basement of Welch hall.
A typical meeting consists of running through the previous week’s minutes, discussing upcoming events and doing any necessary planning, and talking about current issues.
Alford said state issues, such as Senate Bill 5, often spark interesting debates because members of the club have such different opinions on them.
He said debates go on as long as people want to stay and could last hours.
Alford said the club has been known for door knocking and working at call banks, but has worked hard this year to offer alternative ways for students to get involved.
“I’m not going to pressure people to do things they don’t want to do,” Alford said.
The club is currently planning a tour of the Ohio Statehouse with the OWU College Democrats.
During the Feb. 22 meeting, the club was visited by two representatives from the Ohio College Republican Federation: Co-Chairman Samuel Bain and Vice Chairman Jeremiah Wagner.
Bain is a senior at Sinclair Community College in Dayton.
“What I do at the state federation is work to energize and improve the College Republican chapters around the state,” Bain said.
Bain considers himself a strong conservative and said at this point in time the economy and job creation “affect people of all faiths, people of all races, and all political parties. Without jobs people’s lives cease to exist… as a result of this America suffers as a whole as well.”
Bain said he believes America’s economy can get back on track by cutting taxes, especially corporate taxes, and reducing the strenuous regulations on businesses.
He said he believes Mitt Romney, and his experience at Bain Capital, make him the most electable candidate among those in the GOP primary.
Wagner is a senior at the Ohio State University. His goals as vice chairman is to give back to chapters around the state and serve as a positive role model.
Wagner considers himself a social conservative or neo-conservative.
He said his beliefs align well with those of candidate Rick Santorum and he will support him in the GOP primaries.
Wagner said during this election cycle the most important issues to him are the economy, job creation, and the moral fabric of the country.
“In this election you’ll drone up support by saying that you are pro-life… or by saying that you want the state out of the church but I don’t think it matters that much to most voter’s this time around,” Wagner said.
Jordan Grammer is a sophomore from California who considers himself to be a Libertarian.
Grammer said he finds himself caring most about fiscal policies and environmental issues, such as alternative energy.
“I lean to the left on environmental issues more than other conservatives I know,” Grammer said. “I want a realistic approach that solves the situation we’re in now.
Though Grammer belongs to the Jewish faith, he said he finds that it doesn’t affect his political stances other than social issues that have significant humanitarian importance.
Grammer said he will vote for Ron Paul during the GOP primaries and hopes Jon Huntsman will be his vice president.
“His experience in (foreign affairs) would be a good asset,” Grammer said.
Junior Allyson North is a Louisiana native who grew up with active Republican parents who she said taught her to think more conservatively.
North considers herself to be fairly conservative and favors many Republican leaders.
In the fall of 2011 North participated in the Wesleyan in Washington program where she interned for Sen. Rob Portman.
“I liked the way (Portman) handled his job and the way he presented himself,” North said.
North said job creation and the economy are the most important issues to her.
“We’re going to be out there very soon and I want to find a good job that I like, not just one that I find,” North said.
She said religion is extremely important to her and she tries to incorporate her religious beliefs into everyday life, including her political stances.
Though she is pro-life she said she doesn’t feel she has the right to tell others how to choose.
Anthony Lamoureux is a sophomore from Rhode Island.
In regards to political affiliations, he said he considers himself to be an Independent who leans to the right on fiscal policy and to the left on social issues.
One of the issues that weighs on his mind is the abuse of the Welfare system.
“Where I’m from the whole Welfare system is really abused,” Lamoureux said. “In my city the average person on Welfare has two TVs, is getting a new phone every time it comes out, and has all that new kind of stuff. I think that’s a complete abuse of the system.”
Lamoureux said though he cannot assume people on Welfare are not looking for jobs, he feels people who actively seek jobs would be able to find them.
“I was a 16-year-old when I was able to find a job,” Lamoureux said. “How is it that someone in their twenties or thirties, who has all of their time, not including school, is unable to find something?”
Senior Kate Raulin grew up in Maryland in a liberal community.
Her mother is a Democrat and though her father is a registered Republican he is not heavily involved in political affairs.
Raulin considers herself to be a Moderate Republican and finds it may have spurred from wanting to be different than those she grew up with.
During the summer of 2011, Raulin was an intern for Congressman Pat Tiberi.
Though most of her responsibilities were office duties, such as giving tours, answering phones, and sending mail, Raulin said she learned a lot and was able to see the different perspectives of constituents.
“Mainly, I learned that people don’t have as open minds as they think they do,” Raulin said.
Raulin said at this point she favors Romney over other candidates because of his experience dealing with economic policies, the issue she is most adamant about, and has the best chance to beat Obama.
She said she tries to avoid heated debates and wishes people would approach both sides of an issue instead of getting swept up by party affiliations.
“We all want happiness and health,” Raulin said. “We just have different ways of getting there. But the importance should be the solutions, not political parties.”
Tim Carney is a senior from New Jersey.
Though Carney classifies himself as a moderate, he said he likes to think of himself as a free-thinking Republican who sees the importance of bettering the economy and working to create jobs.
Carney said he thinks for himself on issues, rather than voting by party line, but has not voted for a Democrat since gaining the ability to vote.
As a Catholic, controversies such as the health care bill—which forces religious institutions to provide birth control to their employees—weigh heavily on his mind.
Carney said he believes President Obama has done a good job at getting the nation to discuss major issues—such as health care, the debt crisis, and social security—but has lacked the ability to implement effective policies dealing with these issues.
He said he will be voting for Mitt Romney and would like to see New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie elected as his vice president.
Carney said he plans to be politically active during the campaign season and will be working at a call center for Romney, who he hopes to work for after he graduates in May.
For more information on OWU College Republicans, contact OWUCRS@owu.edu