By KRISTY SNYDER
The College Democrats hosted a barbecue with Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper on campus Sunday.
Dahlkemper is currently campaigning to defend her seat in the House of Representatives. The College Democrats arranged for her to visit campus through Dahlkemper’s campaign office.
“We were looking to try and get a high-profile candidate to come and speak with people to try and make the barbecue interesting, rather than just hanging out and talking about how we agree with each other,” said President of the College Democrats Steven Jones, ’12. “To get a candidate on campus is a good chance for people to actually hear the person behind that picture and actually know what they stand for.”
The barbecue was the first big event of the year for the College Democrats, but it’s not the only thing they’ve been doing to promote political awareness. Along with the College Republicans, they have been dorm storming, canvassing, and making of phone calls. Dahlkemper expressed her gratitude for the College Democrats’ hard work in the speech she gave during the barbecue.
“I’m here for a couple of reasons,” said Dahlkemper, in her speech. “One is to thank [the College Democrats] for all the work they have been doing, and, secondly, to encourage them to keep on working hard over the next four weeks as the election moves closer.”
Dahlkemper also discussed her platform. She was an advocate for the recent healthcare reform bill, and was the creator of the piece of legislation that allows students to stay on their parents’ health care insurance until age 26. As a former small business owner, she also says she supports stimulating economic growth.
“When I took office 21 months ago we were losing 750,000 jobs a month,” Dahlkemper said. “We are working to make sure we have all the pieces in place so that our economy can be strong for your future.”
Though the College Republicans mainly give their support to the Republican candidate for Congress Mike Kelly, they are not against having a democrat speak on campus.
“Being able to see someone who has a seat in congress really makes the students feel like they are in the arena when they get to sit down and talk with her and get a hotdog,” said President of the College Republicans Derek Dye, ’11. “Events like this make students feel like the things they read about in the classroom, or The Campus, are actually real issues.”
Like Dye, Dahlkemper also stressed the importance of student involvement with today’s politics. She spoke about how the policies enacted today will have a much greater effect on the youth of the nation rather than her own generation.
“It’s your future,” Dahlkemper said. “And if you want your country to go in a certain direction then you need to be an active participant to help make it happen.”