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Marist Republicans and Democrats gear up for election season

By Kathleen O'Brien
On September 25, 2012

With the dynamic 2012 presidential election coming up, the Marist Republicans and Marist Democrats are planning many activities to raise awareness about the upcoming election and the presidential candidates, Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. These events are mainly for members of the two clubs, but all Marist students are invited to come and join.

The Marist Republicans will be hosting a presidential debate viewing party during one of the scheduled debates. The purpose of this is to increase student awareness about the policies of each candidate in order to make a more educated decision when voting.

Stephen Pomposi, Marist Republicans treasurer, believes that the club's events offer great opportunities for student expression and development.

"Our new events will serve as a great setting for members to better analyze the candidates and share their opinions," Pomposi said.

The three debates will be televised on October 3, 16 and 22 and the candidates will discuss the issues of domestic and foreign policy. Each debate will start at 9 p.m. and end at 10:30 p.m. and will be broadcasted on all major television networks. In addition there will also be a vice-presidential debate on October 16 between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan at 9 p.m. on all major networks.

To promote the candidates they support, the Marist Democrats are currently involved in phone banking. Phone banking is when members of a political party call voters to remind them to vote on election day for the candidate of their party. The Marist Democrats are also planning a bus trip to Pennsylvania for club members to canvas for Obama.

The Marist Republicans and Democrats will also team up to hold joint events. In October they will be co-hosting an information session on the presidential candidates. This event will help to clarify the candidates' positions on key issues and their overall plans to help the country.  It will also serve to raise awareness about the election and its importance to the United States.

Marist Republicans Secretary Ethan Bernardone considers the information session to be one of the most significant events that the two clubs host, as it serves multiple purposes.

"Events like the Candidate Information Session should help breathe new life into the club and bring members closer together," Bernardone said. 

The two clubs will also be holding the first of their two bi-annual debates in November. The debate will include members of the two clubs and cover issues that are prevalent in our country today such as the economy, abortion and other social, domestic and foreign issues. The debate has been a tradition for the two clubs since their formations. However, it is especially relevant during this election year.

David Zeppieri, Marist Republicans webmaster, believes that the tradition of the debates truly envelopes the spirit of America's political system: an engaging and respectful discussion of differing political views.

"The Marist College Republicans and the Marist Young Democrats have had a tradition for some time now with our debates," Zeppieri said. "It has always been a fun and exciting event for both of our clubs and helps to strengthen our friendship across party lines through some friendly competition."

Anyone wishing to join either club can contact them via Facebook at Marist College Republicans and Marist College Democrats, respectively. Both clubs are running a voter registration booth in the breezeway every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the national presidential election will occur on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

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