The Hillsdale College Republicans have announced that they will be hosting monthly mixers throughout the school year as a way to network with students, as well as community members.
Around 250 people came to the first mixer held on Sept. 5. The mixer was an ice cream social on the quad, and all of the ice cream was donated by Mackinac Island Creamery.
“It was a very good kick-off to the year,” Senior Ross Hatley, the former president of College Republicans, said.
Hatley and Wheeler both expressed gratitude for the generosity of Mackinac Island Creamery.
“Jon Beckwith, from The Mackinac Island Creamery, is a really outstanding guy,” Wheeler said. “He loves the CRs in our mission, so he was willing to just provide some ice cream because we thought it was a great idea just to get all of our membership together, even people who aren’t members, just to come out and have some ice cream.”
Sophomore Aidan Wheeler, the acting president of CR, said the purpose of the mixers is to encourage everyone on campus, not just students interested in politics, to socialize with one another.
“The beginning of the month mixers are completely unrelated to politics or fundraising,” Wheeler said. “They’re just our monthly get-together and a way to use our membership to do something good or hangout.”
Hatley said the monthly mixers are a way to carry out the club’s mission statement on campus.
“The mission is to create leaders among our peers at Hillsdale and connect them to the political arena in order to change, of course, America,” Hatley said. “These mixers are the first step to meeting folks and getting them involved. From there, we can create, connect, change; that is our formula.”
Sophomore Dennis Fassett, who is the treasurer of Citizens for Self-Governance, said he thinks the mixers are great opportunities for different political clubs to share ideas.
“I think it’s the next step for political clubs on campus to start to work together, to get more people involved, and express that clubs aren’t necessarily exclusive from one another,” Fassett said. “You can be part of multiple clubs if they’re still in line with your political views.”
Sophomore Max Trokye, is not a member of CR, but he said he was able to branch out from his typical friend group and talk to people he had never met by attending the event.
“I got the chance to talk to a few people, mostly freshmen, who I hadn’t met yet and ask them about what they’re interested in, about campus, and what they’ve been doing so far,” Troyke said, “It was a great opportunity for me to meet a lot of different people, as well as people that I hadn’t really connected with.”
According to Hatley, students can expect CR to host more outreach and social events throughout the year.
“We are a big organization with room for everybody,” Hatley said. “We exist to serve, and we’re always looking to bring more people in and do more things.”
Wheeler said there will be another mixer within the first two weeks of October, though a date has not yet been decided.
Fasset and Troyke each expressed interest in attending future CR events.
“I’m excited to see what they do this year,” Troyke said.
Hatley said he looks forward to using these mixers as a way to build relationships with incoming classes.
“These are the folks that we are here to serve, and these are the folks that we exist to empower and create that next generation of statesmen,” he said.