Election Sparks Interest In Republican Clubs On Mo. College Campuses


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Republican surge in this year’s presidential election is leading to a rise in the ranks of College Republican clubs in Missouri.

Prior to 2016, there were 18 College Republican clubs on Missouri college campuses, but that number is now up to 26 and is expected to grow.

“I had a lot of different majors throughout my time,” said Missouri State University College Republicans President Eric Engleby. “But once I got involved in College Republicans — I saw college students can make a difference in the political process.”

Engleby said for many of the club’s members, it becomes an ideological home away from home.

“They [students] come to college for the first time and they don’t really have their parents there anymore telling them what to believe or how to vote or what to think so they come here and they’re really just excited to learn more about the political process,” Engleby said.

“It’s not just Missouri that’s growing; the College Republican National Committee is reporting growth in almost every single state,” said Jake Buxton, Chairman of the Missouri Federation of College Republicans.

Buxton, a Springfield native and Truman State University student, oversees all College Republican clubs across Missouri. He said members go to any conference they can, get involved in campaigns and voice their opinions on policy issues, among other activities.

“I have found that the majority of students believe in the concept of smaller government, they don’t want the government interfering in their lives,” Buxton said. “They don’t want the government taking out large portions of their paychecks whenever they get one, whenever they get out of college.”

“Society kind of tells us that young people are supposed to be liberal and so whenever you see young people that are conservative and are excited about the conservative cause that really excites the elected officials and they help us out,” Engleby said.

While Republicans make up the majority in Jefferson City, they can seem like a minority on campus. Students like Engleby make sure that minority’s voice is heard.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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