Political groups on campus came together for the Citizens for Self Governance Politics and Policy Mixer.
The mixer, modeled after the Source with tables for each different group, was meant to help students meet the different groups on campus and learn how to become involved.
“One reason was to make it easier for freshman and other students who want to get involved with politics to navigate all the different politics groups,” junior Emily Heubaum, CSG marketing chair, said. “It can be hard to tell the difference, what each one does day to day, and what they stand for.”
College Republicans President Aidan Wheeler said the mixer allowed members to meet potential new members.
“It was a great opportunity, past the Source, to have a table out there and just explain what we do,” Wheeler said. “I think it’s great to engage with the students as much as possible, gauge their interest in things, and let them know what we’re really about.”
Heubaum said CSG also wanted to bring the political community together, provide a space for civil discourse, and show the massive amount of member overlap between groups.
“We wanted to bring the groups together and promote goodwill and cooperation,” Heubaum said. “It was a big concern of ours because we are nonpartisan and we do have a lot of membership overlap between groups. We wanted to show to us and to campus that there’s no infighting. We’re here to get involved together in a way that’s constructive.”
Heubaum said another factor in putting on the mixer was that CSG is a new club.
“We don’t want to step on anybody’s toes,” Heubaum said. “This was our goodwill offering to the other groups on campus. We just want to promote a positive environment instead of something that is weirdly toxic.”
College Democrats President junior Madeline Hedrick said CSG was able to create a comfortable environment for all the groups.
“The most common thing we hear at events like these is ‘I don’t agree with you, but I’m really glad you’re on campus,’” Hedrick said. “When you’re trying to get members, that’s not something that you necessarily want to hear. It’s always very reassuring to hear that even though we don’t think the same way, we’re appreciated.”
Some groups found unique ways to draw students to their tables. Hillsdale College for Life encouraged students to call their senators and urge the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.
“The pro-life movement is larger than politics but politics is a part of it,” sophomore Bryce Asberg, Hillsdale College for Life policy director said. “We were there to inform people about pro-life bills proposed in the Michigan legislator. We had at least 19 students call their senators, eight sign up for our email list that we hadn’t met at the Source, and lots of people that were already on our email list that we got to connect with again.”
Asberg said the mixer was a good way to learn about the other policy groups on campus.
“It was a really great event that a lot of students came out for,” Asberg said. “It was a great time to interface with the groups on campus that you might not come in contact with and to make sure that they know what you’re doing and you know what they’re doing, so you can work together when you can.”