As the 2020 presidential election approaches, Queens Democrats and Republicans are determined to promote civic engagement across the student body.
Laura Branham began the school year with a Republican National Convention watch party hosted by a Davidson College student. As the president of College Republicans, Branham was given two tickets to the convention. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, she was unable to attend.
Branham described the convention as a “closed, private event” but was excited to connect with other Republican students in the area. This fall, Queens and Davidson Republicans will join forces to hold Zoom calls. Through these meetings, Branham hopes to encourage open and honest discussions between students. Branham stressed that “knowing how to have conversations is so important, especially as college students.”
Ella Van Troba, president of Queens Democrats, expressed similar sentiments, stating, “human connection is extremely powerful; it’s important to understand what people believe and why they have certain views.”
Similar to Queens Republicans, Queens Democrats will be having Zoom meetings throughout the semester. To help students engage with the community, Van Troba plans to invite guest speakers to promote civic engagement and inform students of pressing issues.
“This pandemic has been a double-edged sword,” Van Troba said. “While we are all disappointed that we can not meet in person, we are lucky that political organizers and speakers have the opportunity to connect with us online.” College Republicans will also be pulling in outside speakers this fall.
Martha Ellen Philips, an alumnus from Baylor University, will be informing students on what her experience was being a Republican on a college campus. Both Branham and Van Troba are looking forward to the upcoming election, hoping that changes will be made with the next administration. Branham hopes to “continue growth on an international level.” She mentioned that the main issues pressing our nation this election are the economy, the pandemic, human trafficking and the Middle East.
Van Troba, on the other hand, desires a “restored empathy” in the nation. “While certain issues may not directly affect us, we still need to take action.” Van Troba recognizes that this will take a lot of work, but it is all about not giving up. For Van Troba, affordable health care and the environment are most important in this election.
While both women may disagree on certain policies, both agree that it is extremely important to use your voice by voting in this election.
Registration closes on October 9th! If you are living in Charlotte from out of state, the deadline to request an absentee ballot is October 27th. Register to vote in North Carolina at this link: https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/offices-services/online/Pages/voter-registration-application.aspx