The Rebirth of the Yale College Republicans
You might think the title of this blog post is kind of melodramatic. “Rebirth of the Yale College Republicans”? Please. But seriously, y’all. The Yale College Republicans has been born again this year, and I’m so proud of that fact.
One of the main things that has kept me so busy this past semester has been serving as chairman of the Yale College Republicans during a semester that has not only been busy for politics in general (with the presidential election and all), but also that has been particularly busy for Republicans at Yale as the Yale GOP has experienced quite the rebirth this year. In the past, the Yale College Republicans has technically existed on paper but has not been consistently active or really made much effort to identify and involve people in Republican politics on campus. However, this semester, I (with the help of some very wonderful people) have been successful in establishing the Yale College Republicans as an established organization and one of the most active political action groups on campus.
We began by creating an emailing list of every Republican we could think of and reaching out to known Republicans to ask if they knew other Republicans. A friend of mine said that it’s easier to come out as gay at Yale than as a Republican, and to be honest I think that’s probably true. So identifying Republicans on campus is half the battle.
After we had established a membership list, we began planning activities. For one of the first organized political activism activities of the Yale GOP, a group of Yale College Republicans went to Massachusetts to campaign for Senator Scott Brown’s reelection, which you can read about in the Yale Daily News here.
We also hosted phone banking for Linda McMahon (a senate candidate in Connecticut) and Mitt Romney. We organized canvassing efforts for Linda McMahon in New Haven at large as well as at Yale.
Along with the Yale College Democrats and the 12 residential college masters, we hosted voter-registration drives in residential college butteries for Yale students to register to vote. One of the things I have loved most about the re-birth of the Yale College Republicans is that there is now a bit of balance to the all-powerful Dems. haha
But that is not to say that there is any animosity between the Yale GOP and the Yale Dems. Another thing I’ve enjoyed about re-establishing YCR has been getting to know the leadership of the Yale Dems. The Dems’ President Zak Newman and I have had some wonderful discussions this semester. We even participated in two debates about the election (one at a boarding school in Cheshire, Connecticut, and one at the University of St. Joseph in Hartford). There are lots of liberal groups on campus that are less than tolerant–to say the least–but I have found the members of the Yale Democrats to be wonderful, curious, engaging people.
On election day, the Yale GOP collectively contacted every registered Republican and every voter unaffiliated with a party at Yale in a get-out-the-vote effort. I don’t think I’ve ever been as busy in my life as I was during the couple days leading up to the election day this year. I think I talked to every reporter at the Yale Daily News twice as well as running from place to place making sure our last-minute election plans were going off without a hitch. Here’re a few of the YDN articles I was quoted in during the days leading up to and following the election. Here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The Yale Daily News has been, in general, very good about covering our events and activities. When they were putting out an all-election-coverage issue, I was asked to write a piece for their Weekend section about an issue at hand in the presidential election. You can read it here. And the weekend before the election, they ran a cover story in Weekend which discussed the activities of various political groups on campus, including the Yale GOP. You can read that article here.
Election night, we hosted a returns-watching party in Silliflicks, which is a movie theatre in the basement of Silliman College. Although the night certainly did not go as we all had hoped it would (Scott Brown, Linda McMahon, and Mitt Romney all lost), it could have been worse haha.
A couple weeks after the election, we hosted CT State Representative Gail Lavielle to discuss the future for the Republican party both in Connecticut and in the country at large. I am hopeful that our relationship with Rep. Lavielle will continue and that we will be able to organize a trip up to Hartford to the state capitol this coming semester to see her and the other Republicans in the CT Legislature in action.
At the end of the semester, the Yale College Republicans hosted Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) to speak about free-market approaches to environmentalism. Congressman Inglis stuck around to talk with the students at the talk for quite awhile. It was a great event. You can read the article about it in the Yale Daily News here.
Our rebirth has not gone unnoticed. Yalies on both sides of the aisle have been astonished by how quickly the Yale College Republicans has morphed into a real organization and added to the increasingly prominent conservative movement on campus. The Politic, a Yale publication about–you guessed it!–politics, wrote a cover story in its last issue of the semester about the rise of the Right at Yale. I’m quoted in it a couple times, as are several other Yale GOP members. You can read it here.
Moving forward, I hope that we will be able to host additional talks in the coming semester, plan a trip to Hartford, and take part in some lobbying efforts similar to what the Dems do. I’ll keep y’all updated on how it goes!
Fighting the Good Fight!
Southern Belle at Yale
P.S. I made a video for The Yale Herald‘s Bullblog on election day. It is my rather pathetic attempt at humor, but you may find it enjoyable. Here’s a link to that if you’d like to watch it.