By Vilma Sierra
Rider’s College Republican student members had the opportunity to attend the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which was held Feb. 10-12 in Washington, DC. The conference welcomed more than 3,000 conservative student activists from across the country. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Rep. Allen West of Florida, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and other notable Republicans served as CPAC guest speakers.
“CPAC was one of the most mentally stimulating and critically challenging weekends of my undergraduate career at Rider,” said Senior Kevin Van Loan, treasurer of the university’s College Republicans.
The conference included multiple informative meetings that covered different current political issues, emphasizing topics such as taxes and spending.
“One of the first milestones of the trip was being able to hear some of the speakers talk about national security, taxation, reform entitlement and First Amendments rights,” Van Loan said.
After each session, the students had time to meet and discuss politics with other college students and even congressional officers, judges, governors, political pundits and state officials.
“Everyone who attended left the conference with dozens of important contacts who have already been used for networking and enhancing the political development of our fellow Rider classmates,” Van Loan said.
Attendees were able to bounce around to different workshops, stopping by political booths for campaign literature, book signings and other promotions.
“One workshop in particular that I found very interesting was a panel discussing what should be done about the federal income tax,” said Junior Janine Jakubauskas, president of Rider’s College Republicans.
Members of Rider’s College Republicans also met people from organizations that were interested in helping out at Rider.
“I spoke with representatives from the [National Rifle Association], doctors, law enforcement agencies, civil liberty unions and dozens of other groups that said they would be willing to come to our campus to try to help promote debate between college students and different ideological stances,” said Van Loan.
Jakubauskas felt the conference gave her the chance to personally network.
“I got to utilize the skills that were taught to me in my classes at Rider which resulted in me obtaining a handful of business cards and gaining new contacts,” Jakubauskas said.