The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Democrats, Republicans unite on NE

By Gary Collins/managing editor

For those people who are tired of the same old partisan politics, mudslinging and media spin, a new student organization has arrived.

The Student Political Awareness Club, a NE Campus-based group, is open to students from all campuses.

SPAC was an idea of former NE director of testing Seldon Mapel, Kathleen McCann, club advisor, said.

“Basically, it’s a new organization, and Dr. [Paula] Vastine had mentioned there was a need because students have come to her from all political sides: Republican, independent and Democrat,” she said. “We hope to get this club going so that students will be able to have a few minutes to voice their opinion.”

McCann said the club will not endorse any candidates.

“It’s just to get together and express and share ideas and see if we can get students to go out and vote,” she said.

Still in its infancy, the club seeks to encourage and promote American ingenuity and pride regarding the accumulation of political issues, according to the SPAC mission statement.

Club members have been promoting the group since the fall semester with activities during Fall Fest and plan to have another table during Spring Fest.

At the present time, SPAC has only 10 members, but McCann has received numerous e-mails from students.

“The only requirement to joining is being a TCC student and having an interest in politics,” she said. “We’re open to students whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, independent, liberal or conservative.”

One benefit to joining for the politically minded is that club members can receive a card that allows them to go to the NE library and view books from a reference library that Mapel has set up.

Student activities has received requests for Democrat and Republican clubs, and SPAC is a way to bring them together, McCann said.

“I haven’t heard from Republicans or Democrats, but some students have come to me and signed up,” she said. “Whether they were formerly in another club I don’t know. But I haven’t seen a group called Young Republicans or Democrats. We definitely welcome them.”

McCann hopes SPAC will be a political awakening for students and sees a lot of apathy in the younger generations.

“My generation goes out and votes because we take the issues very seriously,” she said. “The younger generation voice their opinion. They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. They’ve got to get out and vote.”

SPAC adviser Doris Jones also sees importance in students getting involved.

“It is definitely important when you look at issues at the national level and state level of government especially looking at tuition and textbook issues,” she said. “There are so many policies that students are impacted by, but the 18-21-year-old group has the lowest voter turnout. Law Makers will not pay attention to voters and their needs if they are not politically active.”

The mother of four sons, McCann wants younger generations to see they are the future and need to be politically active.

“You’ve just got to vote. Right now, I am so excited about the national election because history is being made with Hillary Clinton, Sen. Obama,” she said. “And on the Republican side, you have McCain, Romney, Huckabee and Ron Paul. They all express great ideas. They’re out for what’s best for this country. Just pick and choose who’s going to fit your niche.”

Students who join gain an opportunity to learn the issues from both sides of the political spectrum, McCann said. If they are too busy to watch the news or read a newspaper, this club will help them learn about issues and what’s going on in the world. McCann said they will be able to form an opinion and make a difference.

Seeing a backlash against partisan politics, McCann said SPAC has the opportunity to give a broad political education.

“I think when we get the club off the ground, we might have broader membership. The students aren’t particularly partisan, but they are interested in politics,” Jones said. “This will provide a forum for healthy debate and looking at things neutrally.”

Students wanting more information can contact Jones at 817-515-6920, Linda Wright at 817-515-6402 or McCann at 817-515-6428.

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