MTSU College Democrats president Joey Kennedy and MTSU College Republicans President Jami Averwater represent both parties across campus by hosting political and educational events together to encourage political involvement among college students.
The College Republicans and College Democrats host their own separate meetings, but work together to host at least one event per semester; but it was not always like this, Kennedy explains.
“(Political organizations on campus) tend to come in waves,” Kennedy said. “It was around for a while, then it died off and now it’s back again. I think that (current leaders of the College Democrats and the College Republicans) kind of decided that it was silly to not work together when we have the same goal. I also think that because we do work with the (college) republicans we are actually more likely to sustain a group.”
The organizations are currently hosting a lecture series on constitutional rights when dealing with law enforcement, but they have also worked on reaching out to students’ political needs.
“We held a completely nonpartisan effort to get students to register for voting and understand its importance at midterm,” Averwater said. “College students and women vote less than almost anyone else and we want to make sure people understand not just what our side thinks, but how important it is to vote.”
“I think that holding events together allows people to really decide what they think without only hearing one side,” Kennedy added. “I mean, we don’t agree on political issues but we agree that it’s important for our generation to get involved and get along.”
Both Kennedy and Averwater consider early involvement in politics essential to progression.
“Jami and I are better friends than you’d think,” Kennedy said. “We know that political parties fighting doesn’t get us anywhere so we’re going to have to work together when we’re older if we want to make our government work … so why not start now?”
The College Democrats and the College Republicans both encourage students to get involved with their organizations to be better informed and to meet like-minded students.
To reach the College Democrats, contact Joey Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org
To reach the College Republicans, contact Jami Averwater at email@example.com
Editors Note: Research shows college-aged citizens vote less than any other age group, however, according to the Center for American Women in Politics, the voter turnout for women has been higher than the rate of men in all presidential elections since 1980.