College Democrats at the University of Utah fight an uphill battle.

From the Daily Utah Chronicle

The College Democrats welcomed a special guest on campus Wednesday to speak about getting involved at the Utah State Capitol. Senator Ross Romero spoke to a room full of fellow Democrats and one Libertarian.

Romero said though most people in Utah are Republican, many people believe in the Democratic Party’s philosophies but don’t realize it. Things such as funding for zoos and museums are “family-friendly,” which is a priority for Utahns, but are funded by taxpayer money.

The best thing you can do is talk to people because you’ll usually find out what issues you agree on, he said.

Romero, a U alumnus, said he wanted to know the Democratic community on campus because the U is in his district and there are so few Democrats in the community to begin with.

Developing a tightly woven network between Democrats is beneficial for the few there are, Romero said.

Romero has served six years in the Legislature and one term in the House and is starting his second in the Senate. Romero also serves on the appropriation committee for higher education, which sets the priority for what needs funding in the Legislature.

The senator took questions from students, mostly about his views on issues in Legislature.

“Our job is to keep tuition small, but at the same time make sure there is access to jobs when you get out,” he said.

There are many legislators who don’t care about higher education and the challenge is getting them on your side, he said.

Romero spoke about some of the bills he will be supporting this next legislative session. They include allowing the sampling of wine, spirits and beer. Another is banning cell phone use while driving for anyone under the age of 18.

 The only person in the room who wasn’t a Democrat—Rob Alordvord, a junior in psychology and a Libertarian—was interested in the perspective of the College Democrats.

“It’s really good to see others involved,” Alordvord said. “I have respect for the College Democrats, even if we disagree on things.”

Elisabeth Jessop, the president of College Republicans, said they will be holding a debate with the College Democrats in February, and are hosting leader of the Utah Republican Party, Dave Hansen, next semester.

Located in Salt Lake City the University of Utah has what is probably the most liberal or Democrat friendly student body in the entire state. 

My own father who was not very political in his youth graduated from the U as it si known in 1942 as a flaming radical which he attributed to his professors.  It took him decades to see the rror of his ways.

In any event I can understand any frustration that the Democrats may have at the U or in Utah in general as a resident of Maryland where the politics are completely the opposite of what they are in Utah.

Of course the problem with one party states is that the majority party tends to get a little complacent and that often breeds apathy.

The campus at Brigham Young University is a good example of this.  When I spoke to the College Republicans there a few years ago I chatted with the chairman who told me that they had about 200 members and were lucky to get 50 students to show up for a meeting.  This is at a campus of 30,000 plus students where the majority of them are conservative Mormons.  Even the College Republicans at the University of Maryland can draw a higher percentage of students to their events. 

Maybe this is heresey but I would gladly trade some Republicans in Utah for some Democrats in Maryland to bring a little more parity to the system.

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