Now that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is focusing his campaign on the November general election, Stanford’s Students for Romney, a chapter of the national campaign organization Students for Mitt, is launching its on-campus organization.
The group is presently in the process of electing its leadership for the next school year, but eventually hopes to raise support for Romney’s campaign by hosting debates, a phone-a-thon and events promoting political awareness.
The group originally formed to support Romney’s campaign for the Republican nomination for president, but was largely inactive.
“We kind of knew throughout the primaries that he was going to win, so we were kind of waiting for the bigger fight,” said Reagan Thompson ‘12, president of Students for Romney.
The group held a launch event Friday afternoon to gather interest both for participants and leadership positions during election season next fall. According to Students for Romney Vice President Chip Schroeder ‘12, about 30 people, mostly graduate students and upperclassmen, attended.
“Our goal for the group is to invite Stanford students to learn more about Romney and consider positions — especially economic — which are not often discussed at Stanford,“ Schroeder said in an email to The Daily.
Schroeder said support was strongest from students in the Graduate School of Business, but weaker among undergraduate students, perhaps due to the economic focus of the group and the campaign.
“There’s actually a pretty substantial Republican, conservative constituency on campus,” Thompson said, citing the Stanford Conservative Society, the Stanford Review and the Stanford Republicans as strong organizations. “It’s just a matter of mobilizing.”
Thompson said that it is unlikely that Students for Romney will host any events this quarter since the year is nearly over, but the group hopes to have a strong presence fall quarter of next year. She added that the group hopes to organize debates and panels with Stanford Democrats.
“There was talk of attempting to bring Romney to campus,” Thompson said. “That’s definitely a higher-level dream.”
Romney will be in the area campaigning and fundraising several times throughout the year.
In addition to supporting Romney’s campaign, Thompson said that Students for Romney hopes to raise the level of general political conversation on campus.
“We feel like there are a lot of students on campus who don’t really think critically about their political position,” Thompson said. “Our goal is … raising the level of political dialogue on campus.”
The group said that a high level of political discussion on campus will be an important factor in the upcoming election.
“We’re really excited that this election likely is going to be close,” Thompson said. “We students are going to have a significant role … and we’re really excited about that.”