With less than 80 days until the 2016 presidential election, students across campus – and across the political aisle – eager to get involved in politics are in good hands.
Ohio State has more than 1,200 student organizations, and multiple are devoted to the upcoming political climate and election — including OSU College Democrats, OSU College Republicans, Students for Trump and Turning Point USA.
The campus chapter of College Republicans is actively recruiting new members in light of the election.
“This election has affected our membership positively,” said Laurel Lesley, a second-year in marketing, and the director of communications for College Republicans. “We have had more interest than ever in our club.”
College Republicans’ political opposite, the College Democrats, is also recruiting students passionate about politics.
“We are working so hard to elect Hillary because she will fight for us,” said College Democrats president Jake Vasilj, a third-year in history and political science. “She brings strength, compassion, leadership, competence and experience to the table in a way that Trump simply cannot.”
Within OSU College Democrats, the Buckeyes for Hillary caucus is focusing specifically on uniting Democrats and getting Clinton to the White House.
“We had a hard-fought primary. I was honored to help fight for Hillary in that primary alongside people who were fighting for Bernie,“ said Spencer Dirrig, chair of Buckeyes for Hillary and second-year in political science and economics. “And now we are coming together to support Hillary because she is our nominee, and we are excited to make sure she becomes the first female president of the United States.”
Students have other political organizations to choose from as well: Turning Point USA and Students for Trump.
Turning Point USA’s mission is to promote fiscal responsibility, free markets and limited government.
Chapter president Devin Bilski said presidential elections equate to people being more active political consumers, and this allows Turning Point USA to connect with students who normally may ignore political news, said Devin Bilski, a fourth-year in economics and political science and the chapter president of the group.
“For the past 16 years, America has been going down a path of bigger government with control over almost every aspect of our lives,” said Bilski, a fourth-year in economics and political science. “This election is important because if we keep voting for big government, our country will continue to decline, wages will continue to stagnate, and people will continue to have trouble finding work.”
Turning Point USA, being a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is non-partisan, Bilski said.
Those specifically excited about GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump have the opportunity to directly support him through Students for Trump. Active members are organizing campus chalkings and voter registration.
The club is also aiming to “help change the perception of Donald Trump here on campus,” according to Dominic Bagnoli, a third-year in biology and treasurer of Students for Trump.
Students interested in joining any of these clubs can check out the directory on the Ohio Union website.
Correction, 8/25: Laurel Lesley, the communications director for College Republicans, incorrectly told The Lantern that the Ohio State chapter had endorsed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. The club has not made that endorsement.
For more on this election, check out Lantern TV’s special, “Race to the Presidency,” here: