Thursday, November 12, 2009

UA Young Democrats Greet DNC Chairman Kaine

Two UA Young Democrats, President Will Watson (far right) and member Andrew Roberts (second from left), met with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine (second from right), the Governor of Virginia, today in Little Rock. Governor Kaine was in town for a DNC fundraiser in Little Rock to be co-hosted with Governor Mike Beebe and attended by a slate of other Democratic leaders from Arkansas.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

UAYDs Hold Voter Registration on Campus

On Wednesday, the UA Young Democrats registered voters and held an informational table in front of the Arkansas Union on a beautiful last day of September. The sun was shining and the (at times pesky) wind was blowing as we parceled out chocolate chip cookies and democracy. We registered about 20 voters, the majority of which were actually address changes for students who had recently moved. We also signed up over 25 new people for the UAYD membership list.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Democratic Storm Approaching Fayetteville

At today's UAYD exec meeting, I came to the realization that I am hereby declaring next week Democrat Week for the University of Arkansas and the City of Fayetteville.

We have some amazing events on the calendar for next week, and expect a FULL week of activity that will showcase the diversity and pride of the Democratic Party in Northwest Arkansas.

Please view the following schedule, and feel free to post events if you find/know more!

Tuesday, September 29
University of Arkansas Young Democrats chapter meeting
5:00pm, Arkansas Union 513
Guest speaker still to be announced

Wednesday, September 30
UA Young Democrats voter registration drive
10:00am - 2:00pm
Arkansas Union Mall, weather permitting

Thursday, October 1
UA Law School Young Democrats chapter meeting
12:00pm, Law Building 339
Guest speaker: Steve Zega

Friday, October 2
Washington County Democratic Central Committee "Democrats Rock" Fundraiser
7:30pm - 12:00am, Home of Hershey & Denise Garner
Facebook event link: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=124058930956

Saturday, October 3
Young Democrats of Arkansas Fall Weekend
All day Saturday
Events still TBA
Facebook group link: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=132109427965

Speculation on 3rd District Race

Max Brantley over at the Arkansas Times blog seems to think there's something more to Fayetteville Assistant City Attorney and Washington County Democratic Central Committee Chairman David Whitaker's (right) resignation this Friday from his post.

He writes in a blog post titled "A Race in the Third?":
Reading between the lines of The Iconoclast (dangerous business, I know), I read the linked item to indicate that David Whitaker, an Air Force veteran, Democrat and recently resigned assistant city attorney in Fayetteville, will soon announce a challenge to Republican U.S. Rep. John Boozman.

A Democrat faces a steep hill in this district, I know, even against a strong congressman. But is an automatic vote for the minority, obstructionist position all it takes to be re-elected in the Third? Benton County, yes. But the whole district?Certainly something worth thinking about.
Certainly something worth thinking about.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pat O'Brien Holds Fayetteville Fundraiser

The 2010 statewide election season has officially arrived in Fayetteville.

On Thursday, Pulaski County Clerk Pat O'Brien (right, at center) held a fundraiser at the Clinton House Museum in Fayetteville in support of his election bid for the Secretary of State's office.

O'Brien is challenging Arkansas Land Commissioner Mark Wilcox and Sebastian County Clerk Doris Tate for the right to succeed current Secretary Charlie Daniels, who is term-limited. A good summary of the race by the Arkansas Times blog can be found here.

The fundraiser at the Clinton House was very well-attended and was the first opportunity for UA Young Democrats to volunteer for a political candidate this year. I would estimate that about 100 people showed up for the event, and Mr. O'Brien spoke briefly during the meeting. One very encouraging part of his speech was about how getting involved with the Young Democrats was a turning point for him, and encouraged him early on to seek a life of public service. Seeing a former chapter president of the UAYDs talk about the opportunities that his involvement provided was definitely inspiring.

Several UAYDs volunteered for the O'Brien fundraiser; Andrew Roberts, Jody Bland, and Mary Grace Mullendore were all volunteers, and there were many others that dropped by to check out the event. I am looking forward to more opportunities to get UAYDs tapped into local and statewide elections, and to support Democratic candidates as they seek out our help.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Young Dems Hold Second Chapter Meeting

On Tuesday, the UA Young Democrats held their second chapter meeting of the fall semester and welcomed special guests Chairman David Whitaker (pictured at left) and Treasurer Tim Freeman, of the Washington County Democratic Central Committee.

Chairman Whitaker stressed the importance of getting involved on the local level and the opportunities that come with attending county central committee meetings. He also emphasized the importance of students living in more significantly Democratic districts in changing their voter registration over to their new residences in Washington County. This is very important to helping us change the tide in Northwest Arkansas, and turn this part of the state blue.

Treasurer Freeman also informed students of the upcoming Democrats Rock fundraiser to be held at the home of Hershey and Denise Garner in Fayetteville. The fundraiser will be a fun opportunity to gather with fellow Democrats on Friday, October 2, from 7:30 to 11:00. Local bands, including The Smithsonians and Hot Shot Karate, are slated to perform. There will also be a silent auction. Proceeds will benefit the WCDCC. Tickets are $25 for the general public and $10 for students. For more info on tickets, email admin@wcdcc.org.

The next WCDCC meeting is Monday, September 21 at 6:30pm at the Homewood Suites hotel in Fayetteville.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Student Government Posts Elected & Appointed

The Associated Student Government (ASG) announced its appointment of the Executive Cabinet later this afternoon, at the official announcement where it also made the results of last week's Senate elections known. We are anticipating several UAYDs in this year's Senate, and there are certainly a few in the Cabinet as well.

This year's Cabinet is the largest in recent years, certainly in the past four this writer has been around, and introduces the creation of several positions, the division of at least one, and the reintroduction of a previously eliminated one.

The Cabinet list in its entirety is:
Assistant to the Vice President for Special Projects - Georgeanne Carpenter
Assistant to the Vice President: University Committee Liaison - Mac Mathis
Assistant to the Treasurer - Bobby Bruning
Director of RSO Relations - Dylan Jones
Press Secretary - Daniel Ford
Director of FYE - Whitney Branham
Director of External Relations - Cody Kees
Director of Sustainability - Billy Fleming
Director of Internal Relations - Jake Fair
Director of Constituent Relations - Shayne Henry
Director of Legislative Affairs - Afshar Sanati
Director of Academic Affairs - Suzanne Area
Director of Athletic Relations - Chris Arnold
Director of Campus Safety - Michael Smoll
Director of Campus Life - Cristen Handley
Director of Parking and Transit - Chase Phillips
Director of Service Outreach - Laura Neumann
Director of Philanthropic Outreach - Becca Carlson
Director of Information Technology - Tony Cosgrove
Chair of the Readership Committee - Katie McGehee
Co-Chair of the Safe Ride Committee - Omar Brown
Liaison to the Faculty and Staff Senates - Kalyn Williams
Liaison to Graduate Students - Caleb Rose
Liaison to Residents' Interhall Congress - Cameron Mussar
Liaison to Greek Life - Zane Muzaffar
Historian - Grant Hodges

I would urge everyone concerned with an issue on campus to contact the Cabinet member responsible for advocacy for that issue. They are the direct link to the President of the student body, Mattie Bookhout, and have the connections and power to be a voice for students to the administration and various university committees and departments.

I can guarantee you that the Young Democrats will be in contact with the ASG Director of Legislative Affairs this semester.

Although the exact demographics were not available at the time of this post, it is clear from the roster that the Cabinet is about 80% white, 66% male, and 56% Greek-affiliated, stressing the need for increased publicity and awareness of student government elections to increase diversity.

On the Senate side of student government, 394 students voted in the election (roughly 2% of the student population), again stressing the need to increase student government visibility and awareness. The posts for each seat were filled as follows:

Bumpers College:
Kelly L. Brophey
Rachel Golden

School of Architecture:
Emily LaRocca
Kyle Rookstool

Fulbright College:
Brittany E. Box
Divesh Brahmbhatt
Kelsey Castleberry
Logan Gilmore
Adam Glasier
Holly Hilburn
Veronica Johannesen
Rebecca Martin
Gavin McCollum
Megan McLoud
Alex Moffe
Carl Monson
Jennifer Moss
Jacara Robinson
Will Watson

College of Education and Health Professions:
Kori Beams
Jillian Knox

College of Engineering:
Whitney Perkins

Walton College:
Sean Clarkson
Michael Dodd
Carlo Dominguez
Daniel Kleine
Alex Lanis
Colin O'Donnell
Robert Sharp
J. Bryan White

Graduate/Law Schools:
Thang Ho
Ryan O. Miller
Elizabeth Pryor
Jack Buckley
Sam Hall
Jordan M. Voor

By my tabulations, and with incomplete data, the Senate this year is about 90% white, 56% male, and 47% Greek, indicating slightly more gender equity and less racial diversity, but unlike the Cabinet, has a non-Greek majority.

Note: There are 19,849 students enrolled at the University of Arkansas this Fall, with a minority enrollment rate of about 14%. According to the Office of Greek Life, approximately 20% of students "go Greek."