Various political groups at Ohio University are planning events to promote their respective candidates and policies with election season just around the corner.
The OU College Democrats, or OUCD, is unable to plan events on behalf of candidates. However, it is hosting a town hall event at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 19, OUCD President Grant Perry, a senior studying geography and political science, said. The date and time for the event are solidified, but the format is still in the works.
As a chapter of the College Democrats of Ohio, OUCD must follow the guidelines set by the Ohio Democratic Party regarding COVID-19, Perry said. To hold an in-person event, masks would have to be provided, social distancing guidelines would have to be followed and proof of vaccination would have to be shown.
The OU Moderates, or OUM, is student-created and not part of a state organization, OUM President Ryan Gwin, a junior studying elementary education, said. The OUMs are planning a tabling event for the first week in November, he said, and the event will be titled “The Power of Your Voice.”
The event will include information on how to fill out a ballot and the importance of voting, Gwin said.
The OU College Republicans, or OUCR, are working on planning an event similar to the dinner featuring Mike Carey, Republican candidate in Ohio’s 15th district special election, hosted by the Athens County Republican party, OUCR President Brad Kennedy, a senior studying political science, said.
Additionally, OUCR participates in phone banking, door knocking and general information spreading on a day-to-day basis, he said.
OUCR’s hope for the upcoming elections is largely focused on a win from Carey in the special election, Kennedy said. From there, the organization will look forward to other candidates and elections.
“We don't have any dates (for specific events) right now,” Kennedy said. “But for election season, our big hope is just to get more and more students involved in politics. We try to table at the top of Baker Center usually about every other week.”
According to OUCR’s social media accounts, meetings are held Wednesdays at 9 p.m. in Copeland hall, room 104.
OUCD is also focusing on student involvement for the 2021 election season. Earlier in the fall, the organization held a voter registration day, Perry said. The day yielded about 120 new voter registrations.
OUCD meetings are held on a weekly basis in Bentley Hall, room 227, at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, he said. Often, the meetings feature speakers to help educate attendees on local politics. Looking to future meetings, OUCD will be hosting Athens Mayor Steve Patterson Oct. 26.
“We've really been trying to ... make sure that we're providing educational experiences for our members so that then it doesn't become just an echo chamber of the same thoughts being passed around,” Perry said. “But, instead, it's something that's constructive, to where you can go to a meeting and you can learn about a topic that you don't know about.”
OUM also holds weekly meetings, hosted in Tupper Hall, room 002, at 6:30 p.m.
on Thursdays. The meetings include events such as debates and even game nights when appropriate, Gwin said.
“The importance of (voting) is simply staying educated at all times,” Gwin said. “So, many students are just going to go around and potentially vote after what their friends think or what their parents are telling them to do. You’ve got to make sure you are educated for yourself so you understand and you validate what you hold true to yourself.”