Ryan Chartrand

A female social sciences junior is not the typical president of the Cal Poly College Republicans but Christina Chiappe goes far beyond the norm.

“My position isn’t clich‚d at all, but it doesn’t have to make sense,” she said.

Chiappe grew up in a more liberal part of the Bay Area but lived in a conservative home. When she came to Cal Poly, she went to meetings but didn’t have any leadership roles, she said.

“Last year, I joined the board as the political officer which was a position created for me specifically by last year’s vice president,” Chiappe said.

The position involved speaking at meetings and telling members about current events, including news and propositions. She also planned some activities, she said.

“We like to go shooting at the range with shotguns – it’s pretty fun,” Chiappe said.

This year should be much busier than most because of the upcoming election, she said. “We already had a barbecue where students could meet candidates, and it was very successful,” Chiappe said.

“I knew I was much more inexperienced than the past presidents, but I felt I could take it on,” she said.

The club has 800 people on the e-mail list, but about 45 that go to meetings, Chiappe said. “I think students at Cal Poly tend to be conservative but are not vocal about it.”

Chiappe said the problem is that professors tend to be more liberal and intimidate conservative students from speaking up.

“It’s scary to speak out, and people don’t like to put themselves out there,” Chiappe said.

Jacki DeMarchi, an animal science sophomore and the club’s secretary, said Chiappe will be a good president. “She’s really good at putting ideas into action,” she said.

The best thing about Chiappe is her friendliness, DeMarchi said. “She’s good at looking out for everyone and making sure everyone stays involved,” she said.

Though she is expected to do well, people are confused around her, Chiappe said. “People got used to having it a certain way and I changed it a little, but I think that’s what the club needs right now,” Chiappe said.

“We are bringing back a lot of old things but also adding some new things,” DeMarchi said.

“I will definitely promote conservative ideals, you can’t be ashamed of what you believe,” Chiappe said.

So, whom does Chiappe want to win the gubernatorial position this year? “I absolutely want Arnold to win,” she said.

“There are a lot of Democrats in office in California and Arnold is perfect because he is a Republican but kind of moderate and has liberal principles,” Chiappe said.

Zach Austin, a political science junior and president of the Cal Poly Democrats, has worked with Chiappe shortly.

“She’s very friendly and really energetic,” he said.

The two clubs will work together to a non-partisan voter project, he said.

“Even though we believe different things, it is good to get together and do healthy debate or just throw politics out the window all together and just have fun,” Chiappe said of the collaboration.

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