By Bryan Barnes
College Republicans will debate the University's Democrat and Libertarian clubs Thursday night, one week after members of the three clubs met up with Nassau County Executive and Hofstra alum Ed Mangano.
Their debate epitomizes his belief that getting things done requires being attentive and politically engaged.
"When you show up, things could happen. When you show up, things may not happen, but when you don't show up there is a 100% chance that nothing will happen," said Mangano.
Mangano talked heavily about his initiatives to keep residents in Nassau County and Long Island despite challenging economic times. Residents, he said, are basically forced out of the County because of the lack of opportunities and the crushing taxes that are imposed, including nearly the highest property taxes in the nation. Mangano also discussed his various efforts to make housing more affordable to residents, experiments in new industries like green technology and his plans to revitalize the Nassau Coliseum.
The Coliseum means a lot to Mangano, who frequently watched the New York Islanders play while he attended Hofstra.
He also discussed the struggles he had running for Nassau County Executive on the Republican line in 2009, something difficult to do on Long Island. Despite the obstacles he endured, Mangano was able to run on his message against the policies of his Democrat predecessor and win.
Lisa Serbaniewicz, a junior public relations major and president of Hofstra's College Republicans likes the example Mangano gives as a politician for students.
"It's an opportunity for students who are politically involved to speak to someone who's already gone down the path that they all hope to go down, and talk to him one on one," said Serbaniewicz.
College Republican member Dan Oldja, a senior economics major, looks forward to the three groups fulfilling Mangano's desire for them to show up and respond to questions politicians around the country face.
"The questions are relevant to us not just as students, but as citizens. We just want to get down to the issues at hand," said Oldja. "No teasing, no taunting."
Additional reporting by Andrea Ordonez and Chelsea Royal.