Students had the opportunity to interact with several presidential candidates such as Newt Gingrich at CPAC. Photo courtesy of Rachel Steetle.
by Public Relations
March 1, 2012
Cedarville’s College Republicans organization led a group of 26 students to Washington, D.C. for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to interact with multiple presidential delegates and hear from a wide range of conservative political leaders.
CPAC has operated annually for the past 39 years, and each year the conference attracts multiple activists, volunteers, average citizens and many students. This year the conference hosted current and former presidential candidates including Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Herman Cain, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. The conference also hosted many conservative political voices such as Ann Coulter, Mike Huckabee, Grover Norquist, Sarah Palin, Tony Perkins and Laura Ingraham as well as current government officials including Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA).
Cedarville’s College Republicans have attended CPAC for the last few years with other universities in the Ohio College Republican Federation. Rachel Steetle, a senior public administration major and chair of the Cedarville chapter, shared that the conference consists of over 75 breakout sessions that discuss a variety of issues such as nuclear weapons, capital gains taxes and the Latino vote. She stated that the sessions are critically important because they discuss events that are not necessarily discussed at Cedarville on a daily basis.
“It's important to get young people involved and interested in politics because they are the future,” Steetle said. “What goes through Congress now will affect students later when they enter the real world.”
Brandon Gahman, a junior accounting and finance major and member of Cedarville’s College Republicans, stated that CPAC gave him the opportunity to listen to important speakers that represent conservative values, the Republican Party, free-market capitalism and fiscal conservatism.
“CPAC gave us the opportunity to be involved in the political spectrum that will define the headlines for this upcoming year,” Gahman said.
Gahman also shared that he discovered the value of networking while at CPAC.
“By participating in luncheons and student events sponsored by various think-tanks and policy firms, I was able to meet young conservatives from many different fields of study and universities,” Gahman said.
Overall the students enjoyed learning about the variety of critical issues at stake in the 2012 elections and were inspired to actively participate in the elections.
“I encourage the students to keep being active politically, specifically with College Republicans at Cedarville, and also in their hometowns,” Steetle shared. “Going to a conference to learn more about politics doesn't mean anything if you don't go back home to fight for the cause.”
Cedarville’s College Republicans have attended numerous other conservative political events including the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2011, each with the purpose of encouraging students to take an active role in political affairs.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,300 undergraduate, graduate, and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.
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