BY GENEVIEVE KURTZ
Just over three weeks until the Maryland Presidential Primary, and Salisbury University’s little corner of the world is seeing an uptick in political activism.
Conservative SU students gathered to discuss election strategies, the state of the race and approaches to getting young people politically involved at the “Millennials for Cruz” meeting Tuesday night.
The group is a part of a nationwide youth campaign coalition advocating for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the presidential elections.
Shawn Bradley, Wicomico County Chair for the Cruz Campaign, spoke to students Tuesday night about getting involved and encouraging people to commit to voting.
Bradley said an easy way for students to get involved is “Calls for Cruz,” a phone service where supporters can talk with community members about issues that matter to them.
“Every person in this room and every person in Wicomico County matters,” Bradley said.
SU student and Maryland Director of Millennials for Cruz Nick Yanakas considers himself to be a “raving conservative” and supports Cruz for his consistent record of conservatism and representing issues he believes in.
Yanakas’ interest in politics and American history sparked at a young age. He claims that by the age of six, he could list all the presidents forwards and backwards – and could list the years of their presidential terms.
Yanakas says it’s beneficial for young people to get involved and that students should care about what’s going on politically.
“I think every aspect of our life is revolving around public policy,” Yanakas said. “You can’t escape it.”
“It affects me, it affects my family and friends – it affects all of us.”
Student and SU College Republicans President Patty Miller says she supports Cruz because he is all about integrity and stands for his beliefs no matter what. Miller said she feels it is admirable that Cruz is consistent with his views, in a political race in which other candidates have often wavered on their politics.
If Cruz does not get the nomination, Miller alleges she will go to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and protest. She agrees with Yanakas about the importance of young people getting involved in this presidential election.
“This is what we’re inheriting, so we have to care,” Miller says.
SU students of all stripes are following the presidential election. Sophie Leffler grew up in a politically involved family, though she is not involved with any political organizations on campus.
She and her parents support Bernie Sanders for his social goals, his support for imposing more sanctions on big businesses and his fight for equal rights and Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Questioning rights.
Leffler says she has mostly seen conservative support on campus, and tends to tune it out. But she says she would still like to see more students, of all political backgrounds, getting involved and expressing interest in the elections.
“I think it is good that there’s political activism on campus,” Leffler says. “I don’t care which side it is on, as long as there’s involvement.”