Penn's chapter of College Republicans has chosen a new representative to advance their interests to administrators — one who voted for Hillary Clinton in last year’s election.
Wharton junior Nile Nwogu will serve as the University Council representative for College Republicans this academic year. Nwogu said he was chosen in part because he is a more moderate conservative.
“Moving forward, the board chose a more moderate representative — that’s me,” Nwogu said. "I’ve been on the DP quoted before, I voted for Hillary Clinton, but I identify as conservative.”
The University Council brings together administrators and students to discuss issues on campus. Nwogu was nominated to represent the College Republicans at the council after former Council representative and College and Wharton sophomore Michael Moroz criticized administrators' statements condemning President Donald Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim countries.
At the meeting in February, Moroz said the College Republicans were “dismayed” by the repeated emails from the administration, and added that he thinks “this kind of political debate is not within the purview of public positions the University ought to take.”
Moroz also said that if anything, the travel ban was “too narrow."
Leaders of College Republicans soon clarified that his statements did not reflect the official views of the club, and emphasized that a Jan. 30 Facebook statement on the travel ban was the group's official stance.
While Moroz has remained a member of College Republicans, the group did decide to nominate a new representative for the University Council.
“There wasn’t too much drama going around [Moroz's statements],” Wharton senior and College Republicans President Sean Egan said. “But the board made the choice that they felt that someone else might better represent the views of the entire club, not just parts of it, and they chose to ask the [Council] to consider making that switch.”
Moroz painted a different image of the organization.
"It’s fairly well known that there are divisions within both major parties in the country and the Republicans on campus are no exception, so there was always a more moderate faction," he said. "There are Republican [students] who were probably campaigning for Hillary last year and they made themselves known. It’s an ongoing battle."
The Nominations and Elections Committee, which oversees student participation in the Council, has a policy that Council representatives cannot be replaced in the middle of the semester, so Moroz continued to represent College Republicans until the end of last semester.
Nwogu said that in this new role, he hopes to advocate not just for members of College Republicans, but also other conservative students on campus.
“There’s a broader constituency of conservatives on campus that may not identify as College Republicans,” he said. He said he sees his job as “making sure that people that identify as conservative feel comfortable enough to share their ideas on campus.”
Nwogu is optimistic about College Republicans' future in the Council.
“There’s a mutual understanding between the University Council and us on what our goals are,” Nwogu said. “The administrators seem to want to hear our voice and have something to say. We’re grateful for our seat and I think it’s going to be beneficial in the future.”
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