Conservatives really do exist at Geneseo, and the newly revitalized College Republicans (GCR) are out to prove it. At of the beginning of the Fall 2006 semester, GCR had no more than six members when the then-president resigned. Financial delays, an un-established framework, and a lack of membership and support were the main obstacles keeping GCR from attaining active club status. Nevertheless, sophomores Ryan McKenna and Max Duhé are hoping to overcome such roadblocks in their capacity as president and vice president, respectively.
Running the club out of their suite as well as out of their own pockets, McKenna and Duhé proved their dedication by dealing with constant interrogation. The duo credits college union clerk Sharon O'Riley and alumni for helping the club get back on its feet.
"We're here to dispute pre-convinced notions of us," McKenna said. He and Duhé want people to know that they are not the "stereotypical party line zombie" and that the meetings are not a recitation of sound bites. They say they are more than happy to sit down and engage in respectful conversation.
Describing recent meetings as "more organized," freshman communication major and GCR Treasurer Kimberly Diesel agreed that "there are so many different points of view; it makes learning here a lot more interesting." She added that "occasionally we do have political discussions and they have turned out to be really interesting." Diesel, who joined to become more involved at Geneseo said that "it is important to be informed about politics and current events."
GCR's main goal for this semester is simply "to get our [club] name out." Just prior to the November 2006 elections, GCR demonstrated their sense of humor with a complaint booth where anyone was welcome to submit thoughts, questions and concerns regarding the Republican Party. Last semester they also hosted an event to raise money for Charity for Disabled Americans.
New members are hopeful and eager as community activity increases. GCR plans in the near future to host a Late Knight program during which students can make and send care packages, cards, poker chips and such to the troops overseas. GCR will also make and sell ribbons for troops later in the spring.
Looking ahead, GCR patiently awaits expansion this semester, even with past troubles. McKenna pointed out that "as long as we are not flat broke, we are fine."
Interested students can attend GCR meetings on Mondays at 8 p.m. in the College Union Room 330.