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College Republicans, president, Q&A, Laura Brown Credit: Ellen Frierson , Ellen Frierson

Wharton junior Laura Brown, a Daily Pennsylvanian staff member, was recently elected president of College Republicans. In an interview with the DP, she discusses her political roots and her plans for the upcoming year.

Daily Pennsylvanian: How did you first get involved with College Republicans?
Laura Brown: I’ve been involved since I was a freshman. I was always in Young Republican groups since I was in high school.

DP: How did you get started in political groups?
LB: I’ve always been a politics junkie. I love the news, and I’ve always been interested.

DP: What other positions have you held in College Republicans?
LB: I worked on the social committee my first year, and then sophomore year I was the secretary. We just went through a change in our election schedule so I was the vice president the first semester of this year, and we rewrote our constitution so I got elected president in December.

DP: What else are you working on for this year?
LB: Our biggest goal is to start to create a community for conservative students at Penn because there was a lot of talk — even a DP column — about being a closeted conservative. I think that’s ridiculous. People at Penn are very respectful. I’ve never run into anyone who hates me for it, and I’m friends with Penn Dems. It’s about bringing people together, getting a conversation going and making conservative students feeling like there’s a safe place at Penn to talk about issues and find out about candidates. There’s an election in November, and it’s important to make an informed decision.

DP: Any plans for the upcoming election?
LB: We are always very active. We hand out signs and are a presence on Locust Walk. With the primaries going on, we’re not endorsing any one candidate just because we have a very wide range of conservatives in our club. We’re waiting, seeing who gets the nod, and from there we’re going to take off, get feet on the ground, do some canvassing, phone banking and take in votes.

DP: What do you plan on doing differently as president?
LB: In the past, we really focused on bringing in political speakers and being a place where it’s really about the politics and … things like canvassing and phone banking. But this year, I think the board and I realize that’s an important goal, but we should also be focusing on making this more about our campus and about our students. We want to make it where we can have dinner and conversation and social debate — watching nights and things where students can just come together instead of feeling like they have to come and listen to a lecture.

DP: Why did you rewrite the College Republicans constitution?
LB: We didn’t have SAC funding for a while, and we aren’t SAC recognized. We’re currently working on getting re-recognized by SAC, and one of the first steps is having a solid constitution.

DP: Did you ever have SAC funding in the past?
LB: Before I was a student here.

DP: Is there anything else you want to say about College Republicans or your presidency that we didn’t talk about yet?
LB: We are always open to new members and new people. We are willing to talk to anybody — come and see us.

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