With the help of students and faculty on the Oklahoma Christian University campus, the Oklahoma Christian College Republicans (OCCR) was resurrected last year, and according to its president, is now stronger than ever.
“The OC Republican’s organization is made up of people on campus who identify with the beliefs of the Republican Party, or even those who don’t really know how they feel,” McLeckie said. “It’s just more of a time to grow in your beliefs and see what you think. It’s casual, and you don’t have to worry about it being confrontational. We’re all in a GroupMe with the state chair and our state organization is one of the most active. The chair was told at the national convention by the national chair that we’re one of the most active groups out there.”
Senator and Mayoral Candidate David Holt and Commissioner Candidate Cathy Costello have both spoken at OCCR meetings this semester, while the organization also hosted a larger event in February with Journalist and Political Commentator Katie Pavlich.
Professor Gary Lindsey, the sponsor for the OCCR, said there has been a College of Republicans organization on the Oklahoma Christian on-and-off for years.
“We just had a meeting earlier this week with a woman who is running to be labor commissioner here in Oklahoma,” Lindsey said. “Earlier this semester, we had a candidate that ran for Oklahoma City mayor and gave his views on why he was running, and what he sees as the big issues. It’s just a way for college students to keep up with what’s happening in the political arena.”
Lindsey said the organization is one that will help college students after graduation and hopes students will learn the importance of being politically aware.
“There are no qualifications except for interest in politics,” Lindsey said. “As y’all graduate, you’re going to be in the real world and make political decisions. The better informed you are, the better you can make those decisions. In a university environment, we should be open to hear all view points, because truth is truth—we should not be afraid of truth, whatever that is.”
Junior Valerie Stanglin, secretary and treasurer for OCCR said the Katie Pavlich event influenced her to join the organization and to spend time helping OCCR grow.
“I have always been a Republican and was always interested in politics,” Stanglin said. “I had read one of [Pavlich’s] books and really wanted to meet her, so I just jumped in to help out and I loved it. It is really cool to be behind the scenes of events like that and get to meet some pretty influential people.”
Stanglin said the organization is a great way to make connections and hear politicians speak, as well as educate those who may or may not be familiar with the Republican Party.
“At our meetings, we try to bring in local politicians to speak so they can update us on the local news and local races,” Stanglin said. “We announce our meetings on Twitter and in the student announcements, so keep an eye out. They are really fun, and Gary Lindsey always brings really good desserts.”