The Arka Tech

Democrats and Republicans— getting along on Tech campus

Two Tech leaders prove cooperation is possible. RYAN HARMON/THE ARKA TECH

It started innocently enough. Morgan Earp, leader of Tech’s Young Democrats, walked into class and took the first seat she could get. Little did she know, she just so happened to be sitting next to Seth Mays, leader of Tech’s College Republicans.

“We represent what society wants to put as two completely different ideas that can never talk,” Mays said. “In class, we’re talking all the time. While everyone else is polarized, we’re not.”

For this story, the two suggested getting together at the same time for a joint interview. Most people would find this hard to believe. I couldn’t help but find amusement that Earp was wearing a shirt with red on it, and Mays was wearing a shirt with blue on it.
So, how could two people who have such different beliefs get along so well?

Part of the reason they get along so well is because they’re willing to work together. They both are fairly new to their leadership positions. Earp took over the Young Democrats in 2014, while Mays resurrected the College Republicans just a matter of weeks ago.

Earp said when she found out Mays was running the College Republicans, her immediate reaction was to help him.

“I’ve been where he was at,” Earp said.

Part of this includes working together to get students involved, regardless of which side they choose, with events such as the voter registration drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 27 in Chambers Cafeteria.

For students who are thinking about getting involved, the two agreed that they’re looking for students who truly care and truly want to be involved.

“I want to know you’re personally invested,” Mays said.

Neither of them consider themselves a “die hard” in their respective parties. Instead, they see things both ways. Earp said she’s an 80/20 democrat, while Mays said he’s an 80/20 republican.

Earp said she notices the one thing some people are afraid to speak their mind about is politics. Mays added to that, saying, “If you get 20 compliments about how you look, and one person says you look awful, which one are you thinking about?”

So, how can people learn to get along like Earp and Mays, rather than being hostile towards one another?

Politicians: take note.

“We’ve lost the will to talk with people who don’t agree with us,” Mays said. He said people often think “if you don’t agree with me, you’re wrong, and I’ve got the choice to just go talk to people who agree with me.”

“I’m trying to move toward the issue, not the party,” Earp said.

At a point when it seems like we’re becoming more divided as a country, it’s refreshing to see two people who are friends, even though they disagree on a lot of things.

Both the Young Democrats and College Republicans have social media pages, as well as pages on theLink, where students can join either organization.