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Sophie Miller: Leaning right amid liberal surroundings

This is one article in a two-part series profiling a day in the life of a Democrat or Republican on campus. Sophie Miller represents a student campaigning as a Republican.

College of Arts and Sciences junior Sophie Miller said that being a Republican on a liberal campus can be an uphill battle.

“Even though we might be outnumbered, the people who are involved [with College Republicans] are extremely committed,” Miller, president of the BU College Republicans, said. “It doesn’t take a large number of people to accomplish a lot.”

While Miller is conservative, she said, she still judges each issue based on its merits.

“Socially, I consider myself to be more moderate, but fiscally more conservative,” she said.

Growing up in southern California, Miller said she did not think about the political atmosphere of Boston before enrolling at BU.

“I chose BU for the history and the culture of the city,” she said.

Miller said her political life and her personal life do not often mix, and she does not limit herself to conservative circles. Her friends range from Democrats to Libertarians.

The mixing of political backgrounds is easy, Miller said, because it easy to respectfully disagree with people of different opinions.

“It’s just important to be informed on the issues and know why you stand where you stand and be able to back up your arguments,” she said.

Miller said she took on the role of BU College Republicans president to solve the lack of a center for the conservative voice on campus.

“It wasn’t necessarily that I wanted to be president — it was that I wanted the organization to exist again, and someone had to take the lead,” she said. “It was something I was excited about, and it is something I am still enjoying thoroughly.”

Though the College Republicans at BU have always existed, there have been varying levels of participation, Miller said. Last year Miller found the BU College Republicans were not meeting in the spring semester, but she said she is excited to see the group turning around.

“This year the entire executive board has been working very hard to revitalize the organization and give it a stronger sense of purpose and direction, especially since it’s an election year,” she said.

She said she enjoys being part of College Republicans because it is empowering to know students’ voice could affect all levels of politics.

“We as students have the ability to effect real change in our community,” Miller said.

Miller said members have been active in creating and attending events on campus, as well as volunteering on U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s campaign.

“It’s been really stratifying and encouraging to see students who identify as the right of center to various degrees come together to do something productive,” she said.

Miller said she makes sure the College Republicans is focusing on doing something concrete and productive.

“We try to make sure there is a goal and that we’re working towards it,” she said. “Whether it’s getting a candidate elected, whether it’s engaging new members, whether it’s educating members, there’s always a goal in mind.”

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