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Student political organizations stay active as they accept presidential results

Students from Boston University College Democrats, Up to Us and BU College Republicans at a fiscal policy debate in 2018. BU’s different political organizations have varying opinions on this year’s presidential election results. SERENA YU/ DFP FILE

Student political organizations at Boston University hold mixed opinions on this year’s presidential election results and plan to continue meeting to discuss politics while engaging with the BU community.

BU College Democrats Treasurer Bridgette Lang, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said BUCD is “pleased” with having Joe Biden as president-elect.

“We’re moving in a better direction for sure,” Lang said, “but there is still a lot of work to be done, and that’s what we’re excited about.” 

Lang said she thinks the attitude on campus regarding Biden’s win has been mostly positive, especially among international students, LGBTQ+ students and students of color.

BU College Republicans President Frank Serpe, a senior in the CAS, said BUCR is not “thrilled” with the election results because the candidate representing its party lost. He added group members respect the decision.

“The American people have spoken,” Serpe said. 

Serpe said although President Donald Trump did not win reelection, BUCR is hopeful the Biden administration and Democrats will work with Republicans to make compromises.

“The country is very divided right now,” Serpe said. “We need to bring some more civility in some more respect back into the conversation.”

BU Young Democratic Socialists of America Vice President Jacob Levitt, a junior in the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, said the group is happy to see Trump leave office, but does not consider this election a win. Biden is “reflective of the Democratic Party’s continued slide to the right,” he added.

“We don’t find him to be a very motivating candidate,” Levitt said.

Levitt said he worries that momentum will die down on recently revived social justice movements, including Black Lives Matter, once Biden takes office.

“People will assume that things will get better with Biden in office,” Levitt said, “but I’m hoping that perhaps, on campus, the [political participation] will continue.”

Student political groups will continue to be active moving forward, they said. BUCR is working to engage its members for the 2022 midterm elections.

“[We’ll] continue to be a voice for conservative students on campus, conservative movements,” Serpe said, “and just look forward to the future and all its possibilities.” 

Meanwhile, BUCD is planning to mobilize more voters in Georgia for the state’s upcoming U.S. Senate runoff election, Lang said, and is looking forward to having “a little bit of a break” from the stress of the election. 

“Our work isn’t over, but we’re excited to have a moment to breathe and to be happy with all the work that we’ve accomplished so far,” Lang said. “But we also recognize that moving forward, there’s a lot more for us to do.”

Lang said BUCD will also work to hold Biden accountable for meeting his platform promises, such as passing welfare initiatives in Congress and reinstating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“Our steps moving forward are making sure that he can expand his platform and what he’s planning to do,” Lang said, “to become more progressive and encompass more people.”

For BU YDSA, Levitt said the group will work to create change more local to campus, like pushing for free laundry for students. 

As the group grows larger, Levitt said, it hopes to collaborate with other student organizations. 

“We’re looking to continue to expand because there’s a lot of work to do, both on campus and off,” Levitt said. “We’re very motivated to make that happen.”

BU Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative political student group, does not endorse a political candidate, but, like the other groups, is moving forward with events and engagement, YAF Media Director Dan Treacy wrote in an email.

“It’s more important than ever that we make sure conservatives on campus have a place to freely speak their mind and have open, honest discussion,” Treacy, a College of Communication junior, wrote,“especially as the nation transitions to new leadership.”

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