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Letter to the Editor: Response to KKK Accusation

Lauren Risley, Sargeant at Arms, UNH College Republicans

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Being misjudged is one of the worst feelings there is. As an executive board member of Student Pagans Educating Leading and Learning, as well as Paranormal Investigation and Research Organization, I have been misjudged plenty of times by people with preconceived notions as to who I am as a person, such as a cult leader to a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

As of recently, the same goes for my membership and executive board position with the University of New Haven College Republicans. In reality, I felt the same as everyone else and wanted absolutely nothing to do with this organization…until I checked it out. See, we are normal people. Every member comes from a different walk of life, whether they’re Greek, Colombian, Italian, or even Canadian. The founder and former president is an openly gay Catholic man. I, the Sergeant at Arms, happen to be (as of Sunday afternoon) an openly bisexual, Wiccan woman.

The purpose behind this letter is to show you just how diverse we College Republicans are in light of a Facebook post made by an alumni who compared our organization to the KKK. This organization was founded on campus to help every student feel as if they have a voice on campus and to stand up for those who feel they cannot. Going to weekly SPELL meetings surrounded others who follow unorthodox religions dealing with prejudice every day, to being surrounded by Republican students, there were many similarities. You would be surprised how many students on this liberal campus feel uncomfortable sharing their opinions. Whether it’s hanging a Trump 2016 flag in their window, to wanting to change the Political Science Organization to the College Democrats Club, not everyone will be happy. When you sit down and compare College Republicans to other organizations, we tend to have somewhat similar issues. If a student on campus feels as though they can’t relate to the topic of conversation, they won’t attend or participate. We, too, suffer from that, because as soon as you see the word “Republican”, you automatically think of the Cheeto sitting in the White House. Therefore, it is hard to create diversity among those who attend, unless you break down the barriers of the organization itself.

Our organization’s Event Chair, AJ Kantzelis, will be holding an open forum with four members of our organization to discuss and answer any questions students have regarding our organization and the College Republicans State Federation. Next semester, our weekly meetings will be every Monday from 9pm-10pm in Kaplan 107. Our email is collegerepublicans@newhaven.edu if you need cosponsors or want to have a social, or if you have any questions.

To quote our Fundraising Chair, Timothy Anop: “We are not racists, we just care about taxes”. And to quote our founder’s original letter, “God Bless the University of New Haven and God Bless America”

 

Lauren Risley

Sergeant at Arms

University of New Haven College Republicans

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Letter to the Editor: Response to KKK Accusation