Democrats contest political apathy
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
By Carly Darrow
may be for all, but it seems that many on campus don’t want a part of
it. Senior Jonathan Carroll, president, and Joseph Karch, webmaster,
leaders of the newly re-established College Democrats hope to remedy
The College Democrats has been an active student group at various
points in Oklahoma Christian’s history, but after the 2004 election,
the group took a three-and-a-half year break. Currently, the College
Democrats are the only political group on campus.
“The main goals for the club are to promote political discussion,
education and awareness on campus,” Carroll said. “We want to promote
political awareness and fight political apathy.”
Both Carroll and Karch believe political apathy exists on the
Oklahoma Christian campus. Recently, SGA set up a booth outside the
campus cafeteria, and Carroll, along with others, asked students to
register to vote. Carroll said a large number declined.
“Many students said they felt that the government was messed up,
and they didn’t want any part of it,” Carroll said. “People just don’t
care enough, and they really should because they can make a difference.
Most just don’t realize it. However, the only way to begin to fix the
government is to vote.”
The organization’s officers plan to have monthly screenings of
documentaries on important political issues and then discuss what they
have watched. They also would like to bring in experts and get their
opinions on the documentaries.
“If the average person paid attention, they would probably be upset
about a lot of things that go on in the world and at home,” Karch said.
Michael O’Keefe, the sponsor for the College Democrats, feels there
is a need for this organization to be active and provide another view
point on campus.
“I’d like to see them bring speakers on campus who give a balance to
certain speakers such as Jim Inhaofe, Kenneth Star and Michael Midved,”
O’Keefe also anticipates arranging a display and activity next fall before the election.
“I would like to separate the gallery into two sides and have a display
opened before the 2008 election. The right side would have cartoonists
whose work reflects a republican position and the left would contain
cartoonists whose work reflects a democratic position,” O’Keefe said.
“The reception to this display would be in Judd Theatre. Here we would
have somebody well-known to represent the Republican Party and somebody
well-known to represent the Democratic Party. Questions would be
solicited from the Oklahoma Christian students a week in advance and
the moderators of the debate would be students from the history and
social science departments.”
Carroll and Karch said they hope the opportunity to become educated about world issues would help drive people to get involved.
“Being informed allows people to take action,” Carroll said.
Participation in the group entails helping organize events and getting a say in the kinds of activities organized.
Keeping the old College Democrats’ constitution makes it possible
for anyone on campus to participate in the assembly, the organizers
said. O’Keefe said he would encourage students of any party to
participate in order to create dialogue among those with different
Newly elected Vice President Daniel McCormack expressed his hopes for
the organization and the importance of getting active members. He wants
to spark discussion to help students become more informed about what
“I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone who spends much time on campus
that OC is a fairly to very conservative school, politically speaking,”
McCormack said. “I think it’s important for everyone to be able to hear
opposing viewpoints on issues—as such, we welcome anyone, even and
especially non-members, to come to our events and talk things over with
The group hopes to accomplish this goal in many ways.
“I believe one of the most important functions we can serve is to
facilitate dialogue on campus regarding important issues,” McCormack
The organizers hope more students choose to participate in the College Democrats.
“There is absolutely no good reason to continue in ignorance when
opportunities to educate oneself and/or discuss opinions with others
present themselves,” Katherine Nash, chaplain for the College Democrats
With the nation heading into a presidential election year, the
group feels there would certainly be plenty to keep them interested and