NYU Dems and Repubs to Coordinate, Debate More This Semester

The new executive boards of NYU College Democrats and Republicans both expressed that they hope to work together more this fall.

Four NYU political student groups debate in April 2018. The NYU College Democrats and NYU College Republicans have hired new executive boards and hope to coordinate more frequently this fall. (Photo by Sam Klein)

The new presidents of NYU’s leading political clubs, the NYU College Democrats and Republicans, are planning to develop a stronger working relationship between the two ideologically opposed groups.

CAS seniors Ethan Ansorge and Kristen Gourrier, the new presidents of NYU College Democrats and Republicans respectively, both said they hope to coordinate more this semester. One way of doing so, they said, will be to have a debate.

“We want to increase the amount of involvement we have with the Republicans,” Ansorge said. “They’re trying to do the same thing we are — participate in our democracy at a young age — and it’s important to discuss.”

Gourrier agreed with Ansorge that the two groups should work together more often. Gourrier said she hopes to improve relations with other political clubs on campus while asserting that they have been amicable in the past.

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“Something that I would like to see a lot more of under my leadership this year is more interaction between the clubs and more friendly interaction with them,” Gourrier said.

Both groups also emphasized wanting to have more discussions within their own clubs at their once-a-week meetings and beyond. Ansorge said that, especially with a wide range of 2020 presidential candidates and viewpoints within the Democratic Party, he hopes to attract and cater to democrats with different perspectives. 

“We want to give a place for people to debate and discuss their favorite candidates and favorite policies,” Ansorge said.

Gourrier said a goal for him is to change peoples’ perceptions of the Republicans.

“I feel like a lot of people have a preconceived notion of what a republican might be,” Gourrier said. “I think that getting more out there and getting more social would help people kind of warm up to us a bit.”

Both groups mentioned watch parties, discussions and speakers as part of their usual programming, which they will continue this semester. As the presidential primaries will take place this spring, they hope to see more students get engaged. 

Ansorge said the Democrats’ first meeting had its largest turnout in the past few years, with 108 students. Although he declined to endorse a candidate, Ansorge said his goal is clear leading up to the 2020 election.

“My number one priority is to get Donald Trump out of the White House and elect a democrat in 2020,” Ansorge said. “Beyond that, there’s nothing else to say.”

Email Julia Santiago at [email protected]

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