Informed voters

Informed voters

Wooster students gather to discuss current American politics

Dan Hanson

Viewpoints Editor

On a Thursday evening, a group of students gathered in the Luce formal lounge to watch the Republican presidential debate. The group argued and interjected over Mitt Romney’s analysis of border security, fell quiet as Michelle Bachmann answered the next prompt, and then once again lapsed into spirited discussion. The members disagreed, squabbled, and listen intently to each other’s opinions.

This gathering of political junkies was not a chance occurrence, but a regular meeting of the League of Informed Voters, a student organization in its first year of chartered recognition. This group joins the Wooster Progressive Students, the College Democrats, and the College Republicans as the campus’ newest student group devoted to political discourse. While these groups wear their ideological and political allegiances on their sleeves while pursuing activist goals, the League serves as a space in which students can debate and develop their political opinions by discussing issues of political policy. Regardless of the often conflicting viewpoints of its members, the group’s main goal is to encourage political awareness and participation by educating voters on campus.

The group was born last year as an informal discussion group revolving around students Richard Walter ’13 and Tadd Pinkston ’13. Seeing that these conversations could provide an opportunity for political awareness and understanding, Pinkston and Walter applied for Campus Council funding as a group, and made their debut at this year’s Scot Spirit Day. This semester, the group has engaged in weekly political discussions, film and TV screenings, and co-sponsored the “Wooster Solves the Debt Crisis” event.

“The League strives to provide a fact-based alternative to the partisan demagoguery that dominates the American political scene,” said Walter. “Since this group has no political agenda, it’s a great place for Wooster students with an interest in politics to get their first taste of college level political discussion and involvement.”

In the coming year, the organization will increase its presence on campus for the upcoming Republican presidential primaries and 2012 presidential election. It is planning a series of discussions, panels, and other educational events to encourage students to vote with a clear understanding of the issues. The League’s goal for 2012 is to ensure that students in the campus community are not only registered to vote, but also have a firm understanding of the candidates’  positions and have a generally greater enthusiasm for the American democratic system.

Meetings for the League of Informed Voters take place Thursdays at 9 p.m. in the Luce formal lounge. Students wishing to contact the League can reach the president Tadd Pinkston at RPinkston13@wooster.edu.