Student political groups plan for semester

The two groups plan to attend political conferences.
College Democrats Social Chairman Thomas Leonard talks to members of the club Thursday at the Arts and Sciences building. The members discussed upcoming events.

The MU Democrats and Mizzou College Republicans have planned a variety of events for spring semester, including another debate in March.

MU Democrats President Matt Tharp said they are planning a debate with the Mizzou College Republicans that is set to be at 7 p.m. March 16. While a location and debate topics both have yet to be determined, Tharp said he thinks focusing on education would be a good plan. He also said he hopes to make it more informal than their fall semester debate which was ineffective.

“We tried debates last semester, and because of failed planning, they weren’t exactly what we were envisioning,” Tharp said.

Mizzou College Republicans Chairwoman Sophie Mashburn said, “I personally would like to discuss some of the things mentioned in State of the Union.”

Mashburn said green jobs and their cost effectiveness, alternative energy, the economy, health care and education were all topics she would be willing to discuss for the debate. She said she feels “Race to the Top” and “No Child Left Behind” were both ineffective programs.

Tharp said he does not know if he would limit the debate topic to education because it is a complex issue and parties have been fighting within themselves about the issue.

Both Mashburn and Tharp plan to meet before the debate to discuss debate topics.

Mashburn said six of the Mizzou College Republicans are going to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. in two weeks. She said during CPAC, the Republican Party’s 2012 candidate for president will be announced. Other party members including Sarah Palin and Michelle Duggar of the television show “19 Kids and Counting” will be in attendance.

Tharp said the College Democrats are going to attend Dem Days, held in Hannibal on March 4 and 5, where Democratic party leaders come from across the state to meet. During Dem Days, the College Democrats will be attending the Young Democrats of Missouri’s annual meeting.

Mashburn said the Republicans plan to attend Lincoln Days in March, which is similar to Dem Days, but for College Republicans.

Tharp said on Feb. 21, the College Democrats will be hosting a fundraiser at the Heidelberg restaurant with the Young Democrats of Missouri. Their first meeting of the semester was Thursday, Jan. 27.

The College Republicans will hold their first meeting Wednesday, Feb. 2, in Room 107 at Strickland Hall. Mashburn said they are working on recruiting more members this semester.

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