Indiana Daily Student

New presidents assume roles in IU political organizations

As the presidential race concludes and a Senate runoff progresses in Georgia, the 2020 election year continues at IU. The political clubs College Democrats at IU and College Republicans at IU have selected new presidents.

Sophomore Sam Waterman, president of College Democrats at IU, emphasized generosity and outreach when speaking about her recent appointment.

“I think to be in a role like this you have to put others first,” Waterman said. “And I think that that's a value that I really hold dearly within myself.”

Sophomore Brett Abbott, president of College Republicans at IU is optimistic about the organization’s future, according to a press release.

“We are excited for the future of the College Republicans at IU,” he said in the release. “And our Board looks forward to connecting students on campus with the resources to learn more about Republican candidates and principles, and educating students on the various perspectives of important issues.”

Waterman is an underclassman, but is confident about her leadership abilities.

“I think it's kind of a testament to just how far passion can get you, and I'm really honored that my former board members and current board members had this much faith in me to lead the organization,” Waterman said.

Abbott, also an underclassman, is optimistic as well.  

"As we look to the future, we are hopeful that Americans will be able to unite on the issues where they can find common ground and continue to respectfully and thoughtfully voice disagreements to productively solve the most pressing issues facing Americans today,” according to the release.

Waterman acknowledged that the new board was primarily white, but emphasized uplifting diversity.

“I think that we can do that by using our organization to partner with these cultural centers and give students of color that voice,” Waterman said.

Waterman also hopes to advance progressive values in her new position.

“But our organization tends to be fairly more progressive than a figure like Joe Biden would be,” Waterman said. “So I think that a big priority of ours is going to be continuing to push the national government to be more progressive.”

Abbott also encouraged campus unity.

“Additionally, we hope to emphasize productive and respectful dialogue and collaboration among all political organizations on campus, and sincerely hope to see political divisions recede in the coming months," he said in the release.

The candidates both value a connection with previous presidents.

“She's got experience organizing at IU and also statewide with the College Democrats of Indiana and, in my opinion, fresh blood is always a good thing for any organization, and I think she's goning to do a really good job,”  said junior Alessia Modjarrad, former president of College Democrats at IU.

Modjarrad, also first elected as a sophomore, encouraged Waterman and encouraged Waterman to run

Modjarrad will remain an active member, contributing ideas and providing advice to Waterman when needed.

“It's nice to take a step back, but I am getting a little restless,” Modjarrad said. “I want something to do.”

Senior and former College Republicans President Jason Apple is close with Abbott and sees him as a good fit for the club.

“He’s not one to be unnecessarily divisive,” Apple said. “He definitely will stand up for Republican values and conservatism as a whole.”

Apple also plans to remain involved with his organization.

“I definitely plan on still helping Brett out with anything, any issues he might run into or any problems,” Apple said.

Both former presidents are optimistic that the new presidents are well suited to lead the next generation of politically involved students.

“She's awesome,” Modjarrad said of Waterman.

“Brett was the man for that,” Apple said of Abbott.

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