College Democrats help students learn about their political views

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    By KAREN GUTKE

    BYU College Democrats debated current issues at their meeting on Wednesday in the Wilkinson Student Center.

    They discussed issues from how taxes should be paid now with the prospering economy to whether the government should pay for healthcare.

    “We can talk about the issues, but we won’t get things done until there is a plan to solve them,” said Lance LeVar, director of Communications for the College Democrats and a senior majoring in music from Arkadelphia, Ark.

    The College Democrats meet together every other Wednesday at 7 p.m. They have guest speakers and open discussions.

    Their club has always been at BYU, believe it or not. They have only been reactivated in the last two years. Allison Ostler, vice president of the College Democrats worked with former president, Jon Hogelin in 1998 to get the club started again.

    “Jon called up BYUSA and found out the name of the president of the club. Jon then gave him a call and he invited him to come over to his house.

    “Then the president handed Jon a box and said, ‘Here you go. It’s all yours.’ He called me and we started to get things running again,” said Ostler, a political science major from Fremont, California.

    The club has two purposes in mind: help people to learn their political views and encourage students to get involved in other clubs, said Natalie Black, an International Politics major from Heber City, Wasatch County, and the President of College Republicans.

    “We provide our students with opportunities to get involved in political campaigns, and we also put a lot of effort in getting our club members in touch with service organizations on campus,” LeVar said.

    The Democrats plan to do a service project with the Development Allegiance in the next month, Black said. The Development Allegiance is a non-profit organization that helps less fortunate families.

    They also plan to take a tour of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ development facilities in Salt Lake at the end of March.

    The College Democrats have a good working relationship with the College Republicans on campus, but Dan Dubei, a senior majoring in International Politics from Romania, still likes to make the point that Joseph Smith was a Democrat.

    “We are different political groups, so there is a sort of competition between us in that aspect, but we regularly work together to share information and get students registered to vote,” Levar said.

    The College Democrats are working with the College Republicans and the Student Advisory Council next week by helping all BYU students to register to vote in this year’s Presidential campaign as part of the Civic Awareness Week.

    They will be sitting at a booth in the Wilkinson Student Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Students can go and register to vote for the upcoming election in November. They are providing the absentee ballots and are mailing the registration forms.

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