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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

IU College Democrats looks toward 2016

Hannah Miller, president of IU Democrats, speaks with students at the group's callout meeting on Tuesday night.

Pizza and pop lined the walls. Blue Solo cups and tablecloths matched the blue T-shirts and clothing accents of the executive board. As each new student entered, board members shared a smile and a survey.

In Ballantine 006, students began to fill every seat and every spot along the wall, looking eager to learn more about the IU College Democrats at their fall callout meeting Tuesday.

The meeting began with brief introductions of each member of the executive board and descriptions of upcoming events for the year.

The group’s vice president, Kegan Ferguson, said the 2016 presidential campaign will have a large effect on the IU College Democrats and their events this year, including Trumpapalooza, an event centered around Republican candidate Donald Trump, as well as numerous other discussions and debates.

“One of our events is going to center around Donald Trump — what that means for the Republican party, how absurd he is, what his campaign means and a broader sense for politics,” Ferguson said. “And then doing a lot that’s centered around the issues that come up during that election.”

The group's outreach director Patrick Lockhart even mentioned the possibility of a "Pin the Toupee on the Donald" game.

Hannah Miller, the group’s president, said her goals for the year included increasing civic involvement and voter registration for the upcoming election.

My goals are to increase civic engagement on campus, register as many students to vote as possible, make sure that they are aware of what’s going on in the political scene and they make informed decisions especially coming into 2016,” Miller said.

With the coming election, Miller also discussed their previous voter turn out efforts.

“We have a really big voter registration effort every year, especially in presidential years,” Miller said. “In 2008, we registered 10,000 students. So, we always do that every fall, and it’s going to be even bigger this year with 2016.”

Lockhart discussed other events for the year and how they will be affected by the presidential election.

This semester’s a really exciting one,” Lockhart said. “Typically in big, big election years, like the presidential, we work on a lot of the campaigns at all levels from the presidential all the way down to local.”

Lockhart said the group is also planning a forum with College Republicans at IU.

"I’m officially planning a dodge ball tournament because it would just be so fun to hit them in the face with a dodge ball,” he added.

Guest speakers at the meeting included John Hamilton, a candidate for mayor of Bloomington; John Zody, Indiana Democratic Party Chair; and Regina Moore, Bloomington City Clerk.

Zody also discussed why it was important for everyone to register to vote.

“No matter where you live and what you do, who you are represented by matters,” Zody said. “Registering 10,000 people in 2008 needs to happen again in 2016, because Indiana can go blue again.”

Zody then talked about why younger people need to become more active in the party.

“I’m not doing my job if the only people in the party are my age or older,” Zody said. “We’ve got to keep building the party in Indiana.”

Ferguson explained why joining either College Democrats or College Republicans at IU is a good way for students to get involved in politics. Many members have worked for statewide and local campaigns, and many have also worked in Washington, D.C.

“It’s a fantastic way to get engaged in the political process and start building up your advocacy skills, outreach skills and anything to do with politics or policy advocacy,” Ferguson said.

Miller and the executive board described their campaign “I’m a Democrat Because...,” a social media campaign through which members post pictures with a white board stating why they are a Democrat. Miller said it is important to know why students are interested in politics.

“Politics does affect all of us,” Miller said. “Pretty much everyone has a policy issue that matters to them ... It matters to be involved in your government.

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