This election year is historic for U.S. politics. As young voters, we have the power to make a difference in this election, especially in the state of Wisconsin. Wisconsin is one of 10 states where millennials could have the power to sway the election. So why wouldn’t you want to make a difference if you could?
One way to get involved this election cycle is to join College Republicans. I know getting involved in politics on campus can be scary, especially if you feel your opinion is not the popular one. It can be intimidating to challenge your professors and TAs. Believe me, I’ve been there. But in reality, thousands of other students on campus share your views, and UW students proved this in the 2014 gubernatorial race. The campus vote for the governor race in 2014 was 49 percent Democrat and 48 percent Republican, despite the overwhelming amount of liberal faculty.
Though participating in the presidential election process is a focal reason to join College Republicans, it is not the only one. There is no way I could explain in 500 words the many reasons to join this organization, so I will focus on the main reasons why I joined.
Reason One: I knew I would meet life-long friends through College Republicans. Many times you have more in common with other Republicans than just being a part of the same political party. For example, I have found that many of my fellow Republican Badgers love history and shooting guns as much as I do, and are also passionate about our active-duty servicemen and women and veterans. I also met my best friend and roommate through College Republicans, something I love to brag about. I have learned I can count on my fellow College Republicans to always be down for a good time. Most importantly, I experienced their love and support during difficult times.
Reason Two: College Republicans will provide you with amazing opportunities. Two of my favorite memories are due to College Republicans.
This past March, I was able to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. with some of my best friends and listen to various conservative speakers and presidential candidates, like Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson. We also had free time to travel around D.C. and visit various museums and landmarks. My favorite was the National Archives Museum.
Shortly after I returned, the eventual Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was in Milwaukee doing an interview with Sean Hannity. Hannity’s staff reached out to College Republicans to see if any of us wanted to sit on stage for the interview. I was lucky enough to be able to sit on stage with Trump and Hannity, but even luckier because I was able to talk to both of them and even get a selfie with Trump. Cool right?
Lastly, I am an intern at the Republican Party of Wisconsin, a position I credit getting to College Republicans. With this internship I am given the opportunity to work with the staff at various Republican Party events throughout the state, the coolest being presidential town halls and rallies.
College Republicans is a student organization that offers something for everybody. Whether it be an avenue to meet fellow Republicans, create life-long friendships, or get the opportunity to be a part of amazing experiences, I guarantee you will not be disappointed you joined.
Regan Pauls is a junior majoring in real estate and history.