Republicans have won bigly this year, so naturally, it’s one to remember. We have enjoyed a powerhouse Congress to match the strength of our bold president.

Our greatest success was arguably passing tax-reform. After the sky-rocketing taxes under the Obama administration, it was about time hard-working Americans got the tax break they deserve. Putting money back into the pockets of hardworking families is something everyone can, and should, be happy about — including Democrats.

Additionally, our Republican leaders like U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and President Donald Trump have acted with boldness — displaying confidence and strength on a national stage. Republicans have held our ground when it comes to relations with Russia and Syria, and let’s not forget about President Trump’s major success as North Korea has announced it will stop all nuclear tests, a historic win for our country and the world.

This year, we also said goodbye to one of our greatest role models and one of the most iconic Republican leaders in Washington, a man of integrity and passion for Americans — Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. We’ve enjoyed watching his legacy, we will miss his advocacy and work but we are more than happy to welcome him back home to Wisconsin.

As an organization, we’ve continued to grow, hosting meetings with prominent leaders like Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, Kevin Nicholson, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, leading economic and fiscal policy expert Romina Boccia and the fearless leaders of the Republican party of Wisconsin.

Republican Senate candidates face off in first debate of election seasonThe 2018 midterms are fast approaching, and candidates around the state are ramping up fundraising activities, campaign events and debate Read…

We proudly stepped up our social media game and introduced the College Republican Newsflash. We’ve had fun hosting tailgates, socials and a number of debates and forums. And now more than ever, we’ve come together to host discussions with our political rivals on contentious issues.

Why?

Because they’re really not our enemies at all. Conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans, we’re all Americans, we’re all neighbors and what we should all be is friends. We’re proud of both organizations for fostering discussion because that is the key to bringing our country back together, to mending broken bridges and repairing the extreme partisan divide in this country.

In my past four years as a College Republican, I’ve been so proud to watch this organization grow, and watch the people I’ve come to know and love grow with it. I can honestly say this organization has defined my college career and my future. This organization is the place where I met my best friends, that led to even greater career opportunities and the reason I call this campus home.

As we pass the torch along to our successors, I am confident there is only more to come from this great organization. You are the leaders of tomorrow. Continue to be passionate about politics and fiercely share your beliefs. You may not know it, but people respect you for your convictions, and there are many silent students out there who more than appreciate someone sharing the conservative perspective in class.

In the era of fake news, it’s crucial to ensure Republicans aren’t censored. But also, never be too proud to listen, because listening is the key to understanding others — it’s the key to discussion and compromise.

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2018 is going to be a tough election year, and I know my fellow College Republicans will work tirelessly and fearlessly to remind others what it means to be a Republican. We are the party that puts money back into the pockets of hard-working families, we are the party of small government, we are the party that protects life, we are the party that promotes your Second Amendment rights, we are the party that honors the greatest sacrifices our men and women in uniform make every day. I hope you all continue to speak up because it does matter — every person who hears you is impacted.

Goodbyes are hard, but I’m thankful for the memories. My fellow College Republicans: Keep fighting the good fight on campus, and I will keep you in mind as I’m fighting the good fight in the real world. To be expected, it’s been unforgettable.

Emelia Rohl ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in journalism and mass communications. She is the Communications Director of College Republicans of UW-Madison.