The Grand Old Party Goes Clubbin’

El Vaquero Staff Writer

It was simple enough: wait until he is out in the open and then whack him. Whack President George W. Bush.

This was the plan of a coalition of willing students from different clubs — the Justice Coalition, Students Against War and the Association of Latin American Students — waiting for their moment to take a few swings at a pi§ata resembling the commander in chief in the middle of Plaza Vaquero.

“War is not the answer,” said Adriana Torres, 20, who was on the grassy knoll in question taking her frustration for the war in Iraq out on the effigy, “and we don’t need more people to die (U.S. soldiers and Iraqi women and children) just to prevent another attack on America.”

At the same time, the Republican Club was having its inaugural meeting in CR137, but did not care much that this was taking place because “we’re better than that,” said Allison Palilla, 18, who reactivated the club this semester. “It’s their right to do so.”

Palilla told her fellow Republican Club members that their mission is to bring to light the other perspective to a very partisan campus of students and professors by promoting the party’s agenda and clearing up the misconception that Republicans are mostly just rich people.

“It has been said that the average Republican is richer than the average Democrat, but then you have families that are Democrats and wealthy and some Republicans that are poor,” said Palilla. “It just depends on you ideology, not your financial status.”

Though she does admit that “Democrats are usually the ones who are strongly in support of programs like welfare and those who are on welfare in turn support Democrats, so it kind of works out that way.”
A political science major still trying to master U.S. politics, Palilla tries to explain to a prospective member the exact agenda of the Republican Party, which seems unclear based on her articulation of it.
Gordon Alexandre, professor of U.S. history, said “there is no exact agenda, but there are core beliefs.”

“Democrats believe in an activist role for the national government, that the government is an agent for change and for reform,” said Alexandre, “whereas the Republican Party believes the opposite…in less government and less individualism.”

As the formal meeting came to a close, however, a working knowledge of the GOP platform came out via an open discussion between club members.
It began simply enough with a give-and-take about Michael Moore and his credibility as a filmmaker. It was brought it up because “Bowling for Columbine” aired the night before on Adelphia Cable.

“I don’t think he does his research enough,” said Palilla. “The movie ‘Fahrenheit 911’ is an amazing movie, but he opens with ‘there is no terrorist threat.’ How can he say that?”

Her plan is to show “Fahrenhype 911,” a documentary that tests the accuracy of Moore’s 2004 film, in Plaza Vaquero in the near future to show other students what she is talking about.

The ongoing war in Iraq was also touched on.

“The job’s not done,” said 24-year-old Michael Seal. “I think what we have to look at is what is the value of a life, regardless if it is an American life or an Iraqi life. I think we’re over there now to stop the loss of life.”

The Republican Club, like the war in question, has been around for some time as well, according to the charter of clubs sponsored by ASGCC, which was listed in previous semesters even though it remained inactive.

Palilla, who worked for the Bush campaign in Burbank during the 2004 presidential election and also attended the subsequent inaugural address in Washington D.C., took it upon herself to restart the club.
Moreover, Palilla welcomes the creation of a Democratic club so that both groups could have formal debates in order to better understand each other’s views instead of beating up papier-maché and cardboard.

Nursing major Arsineh Adhaian, 19, formally issued the challenge: “Democrats, step up. Make a club and stop whining about conditions and do something.”

The Republican Club meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month in CR137 at noon.