September 3, 2002

Cornell Republicans Gather for First Meeting of Fall Semester

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The leaders of Cornell Republicans addressed the University’s political past, their opinions of the current political climate and view of the future to a group of about 75 current and potential members at their first meeting last night.

After general introductions, the group stood to say the Pledge of Allegiance, which Chair Ryan Horn grad joked about afterward.

Commenting on the recent controversy surrounding the pledge, Horn said to people from the West Coast, “With the ninth circuit, you won’t be able to say it at home, so we’ll let you say it here.”

Horn then continued on to explain the role of the Cornell Republicans on campus and beyond.

With 673 members on the mailing list, the Cornell Republicans are the largest chapter of the College Republicans in New York State.

He described the substantial media coverage given to the Cornell Republicans, including mentions in political activist David Horowitz’s online column, references on the Rush Limbaugh show and front page coverage in the Sunday New York Times.

Courtney Tawresey ’04, vice chairman of speakers, then spoke about political speakers brought to campus in years past and possibilities for future speakers.

She said that bringing conservative speakers to campus, “is one of the ways we can combat the extreme leftist [viewpoints] … that we are presented with every day in lecture.”

In 2001, the Republicans brought Ann Coulter ’85, political critic and founder of the Cornell Review, to campus. Last fall, David Horowitz visited campus also, voicing his opposition to war protests and slavery reparations.

This year, the Cornell Republicans plan to bring author and activist Phyllis Schlafley to campus. Schlafley works against the approval of the Equal Rights Amendment, among other issues.

Joseph Pylman ’04, vice chair of membership, then spoke on current recruitment.

“We take the future of this organization very seriously and when we leave, [we want] the organization [to be] in great hands,” he told the new and prospective members.

Introduced as, “the evil man on the Student Assembly who wanted to stop them from stealing your money,” by Horn, Darren Rumack ’04, secretary, spoke about his experience on the Student Assembly.

He encouraged others to get involved with the S.A., saying, “It was the best decision I ever made.”

Student Bernadette Galiano, editor-in-chief of the Cornell Review, then encouraged people to join their staff.

“We print things that upset people,” she said. “We print the truth … You see, at Cornell, you’re not supposed to say a thought that will upset people.”

She described her opinion of the Sun, saying, “The Sun will only print conservatives if they are bashing other conservatives or if they have claimed to change their evil ways.”

Joseph Sabia grad then delivered the keynote address, stressing the importance of standing up for one’s beliefs.

“Why won’t conservatives, particularly young Republicans, defend themselves … when they’re slandered by liberals on campus?” he asked.

He dismissed conservatives influenced by fear by describing examples of debates he has had with political opponents at Cornell.

“Trying to argue with a liberal on this campus is trying to argue with a ten year-old,” he said. “The most we college kids can do is speak against their leftist drivel.”

He continued on to explain that he thinks many conservatives do not participate in political action out of laziness.

Calling them “Man Show Republicans,” he said that, “Their idea of fighting political correctness is getting drunk … and making sex jokes.”

He ended his speech with a description of a political protest held in April 1997 against refusing freshman the option to live in race-based program houses. Protesters burned copies of the Review and blocked traffic, among other actions.

Overall, the audience seemed to respond well to the Republican leaders.

Katie McLean ’05 said involvement with the Republicans interested her because, “I disagree with a good many practices Cornell has.”

She said she appreciated “knowing I’m not the only one out there who feels this way.”

Archived article by Shannon Brescher