Temple University College Republicans gathered last Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Student Center for its weekly meeting to discuss upcoming political events and volunteer opportunities.
The discussion centered on how former governor of Massachusetts and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign committee invited TUCR to his rally on Sept. 28 at Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pa.
Following the rally, Erik Jacobs, chairman of TUCR, said he was able to meet with Romney and shake his hand. Jacobs also met state officials Sen. Pat Toomey and Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley.
At its meeting, TUCR also discussed former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s upcoming speech taking place at Temple on Oct. 19, as part of his College Truth Tour. The tour is advertised as a “fun [and] educational” discussion that will also feature a local band, according to the tour’s website.
The TUCR meeting presented its members with opportunities to work or volunteer for local Republican election campaigns.
TUCR is focusing most of its efforts to elect Dave Kralle as state representative of Pennsylvania’s 169th district. Jacobs asked students to go door-to-door during the weekend promoting Kralle in the Northeast Philadelphia district.
But TUCR’s weekly meetings are more than just political events and campaign work.
Students were asked if they have any memorable encounters with members of the opposing political party to share with the group.
Darin Bartholomew, vice chairman of TUCR, said that it’s a “nice little icebreaker” that “opens people up” and fosters discussion about the alleged liberal bias that members said exists on Main Campus.
One girl raised her hand and said she was “disgusted” that her professor told students to donate to President Barack Obama’s campaign after showing them a video of Obama’s response to Romney’s much criticized 47 percent comment.
Another student said her ex-boyfriend had unfriended her on Facebook because he didn’t want to see anymore of her RSVPs to Republican events.
Besides voicing their problems with members of the opposing political party, students also discussed foreign policy.
Jacobs asked members about their thoughts on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent “red line” remarks regarding Iran’s nuclear program and the United States support of Israel.
When the possibility of Iran attacking Israel with a nuclear weapon came up, one student said: “Obama may not strike back [at Iran], Romney will.”
Another student said that if Obama didn’t respond to the killings of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and U.S. Embassy workers in Libya, then he would not respond to Israel being attacked.
Later in the month, TUCR will host a National Rifle Association appreciation event at a shooting range. Jacobs asked if anyone would be interested in going and almost all the hands in the room were raised.
“We’ve seen an extreme increase in membership, especially with the election coming up. We’ve been averaging around 40 people at meetings,” Bartholomew said. “I think it says a lot about the momentum of the Romney campaign, about the importance of this election and students’ engagement in politics this time around.”
Michael Chau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.