PSU College Republicans Organization (CRO) held their first meeting Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Frisco Event Center, 210 E. Fourth St., Pittsburg. The CRO held the meeting jointly with the Crawford County Republican Party.
Republican candidate, Terry Calloway, said is important for the new CRO to be involved with the Crawford County Republican Party.
“We can be a great resource for them and provide some positive alignments so that we’re all going the same direction,” Calloway said.
Kaden Wimmer, junior in communication and CRO president, said the most valuable thing about the joint meeting was the opportunity to meet the candidates and the Republican Party of Crawford County so they can better know who they will work with and how can the CRO can help them.
“We care for our community, we care for our state, and we care for our nation; and that is what drives us here today,” Wimmer said. “It is a huge honor to start back up the College Republicans at Pittsburg State University.”
Wimmer began his academic career as a senator in Pitt State’s Student Government Association (SGA). He held office for two years before taking role as CRO president. It has been Wimmer’s longtime goal to activate CRO again.
“It has been many years since the college republicans were on campus … I believe that the university … should not be one-sided, there has to be the other,” he said. “… I feel very strongly about the College Republicans … I worked with senator Hildebrand, worked with the university … all the way up to the state to try to get this organization created.”
Wimmer hopes that the CRO can act as a learning experience for those involved.
“I wanted to create a sort of grassroots,” Wimmer said, “so that the students at Pittsburg State University who are interested in politics and how to get started (have) a place to (take) their first steps, for them to come be involved and learn valuable political aspects on their own, like how to know what it’s like to draft a bill (and) what all goes into it.”
Wimmer said the biggest obstacle to overcome in order for the CRO to reactivate was finding a professor to sponsor the group.
“Then one day I met our advisor, Dr. Davidsson,” Wimmer said. “…. He said, ‘I believe in you, I see your work, and I will be your advisor,’ and he gave us that chance. So last week we finally became registered as Pittsburg State University College Republicans.”
Isaac Leverenz, undeclared freshman, is the CRO vice president and said he believes it is important that republican Gorillas know they have a voice on their campus.
“The main purpose of this for me is just to give conservatives a voice on campus, try to get the students involved in politics and show them that they can express their opinions,” Leverenz said.
Wimmer and Leverenz said they have experienced “backlash” and “mocking” on social media since the group has reactivated. Wimmer said he looks forward to working with the campus democrats to learn how the two parties can work together for the betterment of the state.
“We do not need to hide, our voices need to be heard,” Wimmer said.
The CRO currently has 19 members and welcomes new members interested in joining, as they build the organization.
“We are really focusing on recruitment now,” Wimmer said. “… Our motto is ‘we help the president and train for the future.’ … We help our students get involved politically, meet the political candidates, give them volunteer opportunities … and make valuable connections …”
CRO is a not only a way to have student-voice heard, but also a place where students can learn about and gain opportunities within the political arena.
“We have a lot of opportunities for our members,” Leverenz said. “… Internships, jobs from candidates, a lot of fun stuff like knocking on doors … talking to people, phone banking, (and) walking in a parade—that’s really fun. I think we have the right future and it’s going to be a great run.”
Wimmer said he believes all students at Pitt State who are interested in politics should have a place where they can meet with other like-minded students.
“I have bright hopes for this organization to help us frame the future of the Republican Party and to help them learn vital political aspects,” Wimmer said. “… So that we can keep this state a red state on the true right path.”