College Republicans dispel disbandment rumors

Sarah Morton

Recently, word began circulating around Lawrence that the Lawrence University College Republicans had disbanded. These rumors, however, are unfounded, as the group has many upcoming activities and events planned, said College Republicans president Michael Papincak. “This group has not permanently disbanded in any way,” said Papincak. “We are right now on a break due to the lack of activities based around local and national campaigns.” He added that the rumors might be the result of this recent inaction. “Because we have not been meeting regularly, I can see how people might think that we have died as an LU group,” he said. With the upcoming 2006 midterm elections
drawing near, however, Lawrence students can expect a revival in political
activities around campus.
This term, most of the group’s events will take place off campus, Papincak said. “Next term we should have a successful Republican Pride week,” he said. For Republican Pride week, the group hopes to host a conservative
speaker, as well as coordinate several Republican events throughout the week. College Republicans member Jon Horne stated, “The CRs have been quite busy this year and we plan on being busier as the elections come closer.”
Last week, the group made phone calls for candidates Mark Green and John Gard. “In the near future, we’ll be attending the Lincoln Day dinner, the county GOP’s biggest event of the year,” Horne noted. “Representative Steve Wieckert, who represents much of Appleton, bought a table for us at pretty considerable personal expense.” He explained that the group has developed a good relationship with Representative Wieckert through their volunteer work. The group also has students on the county GOP executive
board and the Green campaign’s county steering committee.
Historically speaking, the College Republicans became a cohesive political
force on campus in the fall of 1998, when then-sophomore Ryan Tierney took the reins of the group when the person who was supposed to run it mysteriously disappeared. “The CRs weren’t really inactive before Ryan,” said club member Tim Schmidt. “They had been active for a couple years . but it’s true that it was kind of a shell of a group.” After Tierney, Schmidt chaired the group, followed by Horne, who was succeeded by Papincak, who currently runs the group.
The College Republicans contribute
to the fairly diverse political fabric of Lawrence. The College Democrats will also be active during the upcoming elections. The group recently sponsored
a meeting with democratic congressional
candidate Dr. Steve Kagen, and is expected to be active around campus and the community. Despite any ideological differences, Papincak expressed an attitude that the College Republicans likely share with any political
group on campus, stating “We hope to end the year in great shape.