UVM has often been described as an extremely liberal campus, with a student body that is mostly comprised of Democrats advocating liberalism and social equality. These “democratic” beliefs are often brought into question by the large organization of extremely left leaning UVM students, such as the ISO, who seem to resent the popular form of liberalism for being too soft on issues of economics and the normative scope of government intervention.
On the very outskirts of the UVM political spectrum is an often overlooked group of students, who disagree with both the views of the student democrats and those of the student socialists. These are the College Republicans and they do deserve applause, for they seem to be the most motivated of all the political groups on campus, in advancing their agenda.
This year the College Republicans have overtaken the College Democrats in funding and in public events as they have secured one of Americas most influential Republican leaders of the twentieth century, to speak here at UVM. They have negotiated for former House Speaker and Time Magazine’s 1995 man of the year, Newt Gingrich, to attend UVM and give a speech on the subject of the pursuit of opportunity and happiness. The speech will be on October sixth at 7pm in the Ira Allen Chapel.
College Republican President Gregory Hencir, a junior here at UVM who majors in Environmental Studies, has said that his organization gets speakers to come to UVM to “promote education and spread the word about conservatism.” He stated that the College Republicans chose Gingrich as this year’s speaker because they wanted “to expand the venue” from the past speakers that they had contracted and “get someone of a higher caliber..”
Someone of a caliber such as Newt Gingrich is indeed impressive and it is the reason that the College Republicans have used more of the SGA revenue than any other political groups on campus this year. The exact price of Gingrich’s contract is confidential to the public, for reasons that Mr. Hencir would not explain, but he assured me that the sum is exorbitant. Mr. Hencir stated that “people got upset when they heard that we got more money than the College Democrats. It’s not that we are better than them, it’s more that we have different dynamics.” When asked what these different dynamics were, Hencir stated that “the Democrats don’t need as much of a budget because they are oriented towards different goals.” Goals which Hencir would not define.
Mr. Hencir did say that it often feels as if his group is ostracized from the general UVM population, which he argued was somewhat hypocritical since UVM prides itself for excepting diversity, which should not exclude differences in ideology.
Newt Gingrich is a very distinguished political icon and a champion for the Republican party, who regained the republican majority in congress in 1994, after a forty year rule under the democrats. He did so with his much acclaimed Republican Contract with America, which stated the primary goals of the Republican party: “to require that all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply to congress… audit congress for fraud” and “cut the number of House committees and cut committee staff by one third.” His contract won the House a republican majority and a nomination to the position of Speaker of the House. His political excellence and masterful rhetoric gained him the prestige of becoming Time magazine’s man of the year in 1995, a title which was also granted to President George W. Bush in 2004.
Gingrich has written nine books and is now becoming a distinguished lecturer as he tours the country to speak to American people of opportunity and happiness.