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Democrats, republicans, libertarians; clubs explored

By Jana KaplanSpecial to the Chronicle As Hofstra students and personnel anxiously await the arrival of the presidential debate, it is our political clubs on campus who, like the candidates, are working to get their ideas out to the public. The College Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians have got the inside scoop on what each party’s organization has to offer. Co-founder and vice president of the Democrats of Hofstra University Stephen Steglik co-started the club to get students involved in politics and hopefully win the students to the Democratic Platform. They also wanted to get themselves involved on campus as well as on Long Island with the national campaigns for the President’s re-election. If you lean towards the Democratic Party and want to be “incredibly busy, excited, and ready to go,” then join the club for a meeting every Wednesday at 8:30 in Brower 101. This semester they are jam-packed, working with 21st district of Nassau County State assembly candidate Jeff Friedman, as well as hosting a “real talk” event November 5th. with the Black Student Union. Leading up to the 2012 Presidential election, this club, like the rest of the country’s Democrats, will be striving to “better our country and to promote the principles of equality, opportunity, social justice, and freedom within a just and strong society.” On Thursday nights at 8:30 in Barnard Hall, Seth Sackowitz leads the conservative Hofstra Republicans in “campaigning for local, state, and national candidates,” as well as planning “tabling at Hofstra to get our ideas out there to the public.” Their next tabling event will be game-related and focus on debt and government spending at Issue Alley. According to the club’s Communications Chair Amber Qalagari, “Students can get involved anyway they see fit, either with their writing, campaigning, or social abilities.” Amber is one of many College of Republican members who will be volunteering for the October 16th Presidential debate. They have also just started a blog: where “members can contribute articles/political cartoons.” The Hofstra University Republicans “are also working with the New York State College Republicans on their blog” so that students all over New York can get involved. According to the club website, the Hofstra College Republicans believe that “low and effective taxes, small and accountable government, personal responsibility, strong national security, and other traditional American values …are our values” One political party people tend to be the least familiar with are the Libertarians, but President and press handler Matthew La Corte makes sure that people are just as informed with this party as any other. His club’s mission statement is: “Hofstra Libertarians seek to promote the libertarian tradition of free markets, self-ownership, and limited government on the campus of Hofstra University in Long Island, New York. According to La Corte, “When government intervenes in issues…they muck up the ability of free people to come to voluntary solutions without the coercion and cumbersomeness of government.” He also quoted author H.L. Mencken, stating, “The ideal Government of all reflective men is one which barely escapes being no government at all.” Member Sean Doonan became a libertarian through the works of the Russian-American novelist, Ayn Rand. While the club did not shape Sean’s outlook on libertarianism, it has provided him opportunities and resources to learn more about the libertarian philosophy. With the help of faculty advisor Jean-Paul Rodrigue, students can get involved using “interactive tables like the Free Speech Wall and the Political Quiz, as well as speaking events.” The Hofstra Libertarians also have a lot coming up here at Hofstra.  They meet every Wednesday at 9:30 in the Student Center 141, and as they tackle issues, such as “the unbelievable rise in government spending, the unsustainability of multiple wars, civil liberties, free speech, repeal of drug laws, and sensible foreign policy,” they are inviting guests, such as John Stossel, Fox Business Host and Journalist, to speak on “’Debt and War: The Growth of the American Government.’” Nigel Ashford from the Institute for Humane Studies will also be stopping by, discussing “’How to Change the World: Ideas vs Voting,” which is going to be a dynamic round table discussion on social change.’” According to Professor Rodrigue, “Libertarianism….has served America well in the past” and their principles of “economic and personal-self determination, the rule of law, private property, and some well-defined role of governments” is what shapes this political party into a balanced perspective. Like other Hofstra organizations, the political members invite everyone to join their clubs and help spread their beliefs throughout campus.  The presidential election is right around the corner, so before Americans exercise the right and responsibility to elect this nation’s 45th President, everyone should get involved and help maintain the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

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