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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Political groups around campus prepare for Tuesday’s election

<esidential election just four days away, politically minded student groups are visible on campus and across the community. If the number of activities sponsored by the Carleton Democrats—including debate parties in Boliou, door knocking around Northfield, and Saturday’s rally featuring U.S. Senatorial candidate Al Franken—are accurate indicators, student involvement has not been a problem for campus Democrats.

The Carleton Conservative Union, however, has not seen the increase in membership that election season has brought the Carl Dems.

“I would say our group is pretty consistent between last year and this,” CCU President David Rosenberg ’09 said. “People get information online. There’s not much benefit in going to a meeting.”

Rosenberg said meeting attendance is generally seven or eight people, some of whom come for support and to know “there are other people out there like me.”

With such a small member base, the CCU is much less visible on campus, leaving things like voter registration and Election Day instruction to the more numerous Carl Dems.

Rosenberg said he was frustrated with recent news articles that claimed Republicans “need to stand in line” and support John McCain.

“It needs to be acknowledged that there can be dissent within the ranks,” Rosenberg said.

Many of the group’s members have expressed disappointment in McCain’s running mate, Governor Sarah Palin, and therefore have begun to explore other options.

“We’re trying to educate our members,” Rosenberg said. “While we may not talk about candidates in general, at our last meeting, we talked about third party votes, what to do if you don’t like either candidate.”

Rosenberg is also encouraging members to write articles in campus periodicals, including “The Observer,” a former Carleton publication that is being revived by the CCU. Like “The Progressive,” Carleton’s liberal-minded publication, “The Observer” will feature stories written from a political perspective, though Rosenberg stresses the fact that it is not solely a conservative publication. The first issue, which can be expected this week or next, contains articles by Republicans, Democrats, and third party advocates, prompting Rosenberg to call it a publication of “political minorities.”

As a group for these “political minorities,” the CCU may operate differently from the Carl Dems in relation to its members, but according to Rosenberg, the group’s status on campus is not one of its concerns.

“I don’t think [being a minority group] has changed how our group interacts,” he said. “We just carry on business as though we are not.”

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