As I sit here reflecting on my final year as a College Republican, I am reminded by how proud I am to be a part of this organization. I joined this club when I was a freshman, and four years later, I can honestly say joining was the best decision I made in college. I would not be where I am today without this organization. I made some of my best friends through attending meetings, social events, and trips. I would not trade my experience as a member of College Republicans for the world.

This year in particular I have been extremely impressed with my peers. This year has been difficult. Despite losing leadership positions in Wisconsin, we still have control over the legislative body, allowing us to help ensure Gov. Evers does not destroy what we’ve built. With record-low unemployment, and other indicators of the strength of Wisconsin, it came as a shock to us all that Gov. Walker lost. But we cannot do anything to change the past. All we can do is look towards the future.

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In my four years as a College Republican, conservatives always had complete control of the leadership in state government. I never realized how fortunate we were and how many opportunities we received as a result, until we suddenly lost them. I was worried that we, as a party and a college organization, were going to crumble. I wasn’t sure how we were going to proceed from the losses in November. But as a party, we were able to come together and persevere.

Recently, we managed to win a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat, a surprise to many. This victory reaffirmed the Republican Party’s strength. It also has reaffirmed the fact that despite who won in November, Wisconsin is nowhere close to becoming a blue state. It is a solid swing state — one that will be a battleground in the 2020 election. I am proud that we were able to unite and work together to defeat Judge Lisa Neubauer. This victory has helped reignite our party as we move into the 2020 election year, a year that will be extremely important to not only retain the presidency, but also to retain the Senate, and hopefully take back the House.

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As a college organization, we continued to grow. We held numerous social events, including a State of the Union Watch Party and attending a Brewers Game. We also had countless speakers, such as Sen. Dale Kooyenga, Speaker Robin Vos and former Gov. Tommy Thompson. We had events including the debate with the College Democrats and an Internship/Career Fair where students were able to learn what political opportunities are available to them currently and upon graduation.

This semester proved that, as an organization, we are anything but diminished. In fact, the losses in November strengthened College Republicans. Students realized the importance of volunteering and advocating for Republican candidates. November was a wake-up call for all of us and instead of hitting snooze, we have jumped at the opportunity to get involved. This year has been one of learning and rebuilding, and I am extremely proud to have been a part of it.

Looking forward to next year, it is important we remember what it felt like to lose in November and win in April. With 18 Democrats currently vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, it is clear they will stop at nothing to take back control. It is vitally important we come together as a party to stop the Democrats from ruining our strong economy.

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My parting advice as a senior to all College Republicans is that you have the power to make a difference. The youth vote is an incredibly important one. Defy the stereotype and advocate for conservatives. Don’t be afraid to speak up in class, because it is very likely two seats down from you, there is a fellow conservative too afraid to let their voice be heard. There are more College Republicans out there than you think.

And to my friends on the other side of the aisle, please feel free to reach out. Start a conversation — let’s have a discussion. That’s how we, as Americans will continue moving forward.

Kennedy Borman ([email protected]) is a graduating senior studying Political Science. She is also the vice chair of College Republicans.