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The Cal Poly Democrats are returning to campus after almost two years of inactivity.
Economics and political science junior Daniel Estes decided to restart the Cal Poly Democrats after seeing a need for a group that would allow students on the liberal end of the political spectrum to come together and express themselves.
“We have a great opportunity for the Republicans to express themselves on campus, but we don’t necessarily have that with the Democrats, or anyone just more toward the liberal side of things,” Estes said.
Estes said he has been expanding the club through social media and visiting political science classrooms and clubs with interests that align with the Democratic Party.
The group had its first meeting on May 15. Estes said approximately 15 people attended, and goals for the club were discussed along with bringing speakers to campus.
Members voiced a desire for the club to facilitate political expression, Estes said.
Additionally, members expressed interest in partnering to present a debate among candidates for Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) office, such as the one Cal Poly College Republicans and Mustang News hosted this past month.
In the near term, the Cal Poly Democrats are focused on the June 3 California primary. The club would like to see Lois Capps reelected to Congress, as well as many local politicians into their respective offices, Estes said.
Nate Honeycutt, psychology senior and president of the Cal Poly College Republicans, said he is glad to see the Cal Poly Democrats returning to campus.
“I think it’s great; I think the club has a lot of catch-up work to do,” Honeycutt said. “It’ll be interesting to see what they actually end up doing.”
Honeycutt said the College Republicans would be interested in collaborating with the Cal Poly Democrats to host debates and forums, in which each side could voice their opinions and have a discussion. Estes was also interested in collaborating.
The two groups could also work together on projects that each side agrees on, such as increasing voter registration among college students, Honeycutt said.
Honeycutt said he was not upset to see his club’s position as the most active political voice on campus challenged.
“Maybe it’ll make our jobs a bit more difficult, but it’s always good to have something keeping us on our toes and keeping us accountable,” Honeycutt said.
But despite a willingness from both sides to coexist on campus, political differences are still unavoidable.
“The club is going to be right there, holding their toes to the fire, especially given the current presidential administration and their track record,” Honeycutt said.