PLNU College Democrats receive less funding than the College Republicans; but according to ASB, that’s more a function of requested money and activities than a political leaning.
Within the past two years, the College Republicans raised their budget to approximately $2,000, while the College Democrats were allotted a budget of $700.
“It ranges for very club,” said Nate Guajardo, ASB director of student relations. “Some club budgets are in the very high thousands, some are $200 to $300, so it varies on every club. The variables that dictate [the club’s budget] are always club membership and the activities that the club holds.”
Guajardo said that membership plays a large part in club funding.
“Some clubs are more active and have more members than others. Some are very department specific, and that’s why they have fewer members than others, and that’s why they would have lower budgets than other clubs,” said Guajardo.
The clubs are budgeted money by ASB to fund activities such as hosting speakers and barbeques. The club’s allotment of funds depends on how proactive they are throughout the school year.
“The money that we have, we try to focus it on outreach and education, so that would be basically barbeques,” said Robert Contreras, ASB vice president and president of the College Republicans Club “We have barbeques because it’s a lot easier for kids to get together around a barbeque, than [have us say] ‘Come around, let’s hang out and talk about Republican things.’ So the money that we’re given is primarily used for on campus activities.”
According to Guajardo, the current and previous presidents of the clubs established the existing budget.
“The outgoing [club] president and the incoming president elect a crafted budget together; it includes last year’s spending, the income they received that year, as well as their projected spending for the academic year,” said Guajardo.
Because the Republican club was more active than the Democrat club last year, their budget increased this year, said Contreras.
Reiss Williams, the president of the College Democrats, hopes to change their budget by increasing student involvement within the club.
“It has been a club that hasn’t had much support here on campus,” said Williams. “The whole vision and the new approach I’m taking is to provide more of a place for political discussion.”
Williams said the College Republicans Club has always had more active members than the College Democrats Club. The College Democrats currently have 20 active members while the College Republicans have 40 to 50 students.
“Historically speaking, Point Loma has been a place where Republican support has been greater than Democratic support, so I’m trying to increase the numbers for that,” said Williams.
Though partially funded by the school, the Republican club also looks to community donors.
“Last year, we started with about $600 and fundraised another $600. We were also given about $1000 worth of in-kind donations from Young America’s Foundation in the form of two trips to President Reagan’s ‘Western White House,’ Rancho Del Cielo, in Santa Barbara,” said Contreras.
Both clubs have set their own goals to increase membership and fundraise.
“The budget that was set this year was based on last year’s numbers, said Williams.
“The budget has been increased by ASB. The more money that the club has access to gives it more options to do greater things with,” he said. “We’re thinking about having some basic marketing essentials like t-shirts.”
Both presidents said the purpose of their clubs is to provide civic engagement that will motivate students to become active and educated on political topics and events.
Activities, such as a ‘Rock the Boat’ party, are one way the presidents of the College Democrats and College Republicans are coming together to achieve their shared purpose and to foster political community versus rivalry.
“We want to push very hard for a working relationship between our club and the Democrat club, because what we want to see happening on this campus is an environment of political conversation and political knowledge,” said Contreras.