A new club on campus has been creating a buzz since its inception last semester.
The FAMU chapter of the College Republicans, founded by freshmen Anthony Glover and Kristen Jackson, gives an outlet for students who are registered republicans.
“I wanted to be part of something that represented me,” Glover said. “I knew there were other republicans on campus, and I wanted to meet them, but there wasn’t a way for us to assemble and to express our political views.”
Both agree that being a republican organization on a mostly black campus – where the majority of students are democrats – is unique but difficult. Glover and Jackson said they have received respect from a lot of students, but have also gotten negative feedback.
“A lot of students tell me they admire us for coming on a campus where it is not the norm to be republican,” Jackson said. “Then there are others that oppose us and lash out at us. They call us names such as ‘sell-outs’ and ‘Uncle Toms.’ A lot of students question our blackness.”
Like other campus organizations, the College Republicans participate in on campus and community projects.
“We have forums for candidates that are running for offices in the community, and we also throw our support to the candidates,” said Jackson.
The group works with Habitat for Humanity and will walk in February’s Relay For Life.
The organization has 37 members, which Glover said is a big accomplishment.
“Being a new organization, I didn’t expect to have that many members,” Glover said. “It feels good to also be a republican group on an all-black campus.”
One of the organization’s goals is to gain members. “We want 50 members by the end of the year,” Jackson said. “By the time we (Glover and I) graduate, we want 100 members. That is a long-term goal of ours.”
Other goals include educating the community on their party, not being preachy politicians.
“We just want to educate students about getting involved in politics,” said Jackson. “We are not here to force our views on anyone. Come up to us and talk to us and understand us.”
“We are about getting the students of FAMU involved politically, whatever their party affiliation may be.”
Charis T. Strange can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org