Last Saturday night, the College Union saw Geneseo's first "Ain't No Party like a Political Party" event. Hosted by Late Knight and Democracy Matters, the event's purpose was to promote political awareness and positive relationships among students of all ideologies.
In addition to Democracy Matters, members of Model United Nations, the International Relations Club, College Republicans and College Democrats set up booths and tables at the event.
"Democracy Matters brought us together to raise awareness in a friendly way," said junior Ryan McKenna, president of the College Republicans, as he ran the "Deconstructing Big Government" ping-pong trivia game.
Senior Marie Puccio, Model United Nations president and member of the College Democrats, manned an arts-and-crafts station and provided a political ideology quiz.
"I think it's really great that different political clubs came together," she said.
At the College Democrats' station, teams played Clinton vs. Obama chess. Using the life-size chess set from the mailroom, the students pasted pictures of the candidates and their spouses on the pieces. This fueled both heated and silly debates about the four individuals and their beliefs and policies.
Other games and stations included The Price is Right: Lobbyist Donations and Risk: Election '08 edition. For each game students attended, students were given candy and raffle tickets to win a variety of prizes.
While the event had a slow start, by 11 p.m. there was an energetic crowd playing games, debating and quizzing one another.
"There was a lot of valuable information and candy," remarked sophomore Jessica Balogh.
In addition to promoting awareness and forming bonds between Geneseo's political groups, "Ain't No Party like a Political Party" served as a precursor to the debate between Geneseo's Democrats and Republicans, which occurred Monday.
While a debate is invaluable in promoting awareness, it also has the potential to fuel political partisanship on our campus, explained senior Mike Case, president of Democracy Matters. Saturday's event, he said, combated any animosity that could develop between different party members.
"It's nice to start off with a goofy, fun event about the upcoming elections before Monday's debate, which will be more serious," said Case.
For coverage of the debate, see the story on page 2.