For senior Katy Selinger, being a Republican at American University isn’t a big deal despite it being a known liberal campus — but out in the real world, she may face a different reality.
During the age of President Trump and increasing polarization between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, Selinger is concerned that political leaders are no longer focused on policy-centered debate, rather they just want to point fingers at each other and ignore common-sense solutions.
“When you have that kind of polarized environment, you’re in a position where if you concede almost anything or even try to compromise, you’re criticized for doing that on either side,” she said.
To take action, she took on the position of AU College Republicans President — even though she is in the School of International Service — saying she believed she could help create a respectable dialogue between the two parties on campus.
“At least at AU we seem to get along okay and we can have bipartisan events but at least the way it’s portrayed in the news sometimes or on social media, it’s always like the two parties are going at it with each other and there’s no hope in reconciling,” Selinger said.
When she goes to the polls this November, Selinger said she will be thinking about the economy and how politicians who are willing to compromise with each other need to be elected to help out Americans who are unemployed and took pay cuts. She said as a student, she is also concerned about increasing student loans and the future of the economy.
To help elect candidates that are proposing good solutions to reinvigorate the economy after the coronavirus slashed many jobs and caused businesses to close, Selinger said the AU College Republicans will still campaign for different candidates. While they can’t canvas in-person as they usually would, she said they will phone bank and virtually organize.
With the economy being one of her primary concerns, she said she hopes the administration at American University will be mindful of the burden that it will place on students in the future.
“I think, of course, making sure that students are able to continue to come to AU without taking out so many student loans or putting themselves through a financial hardship is really important,” she said. “But at the same time I think the University is kind of strapped.”