By Matthew Allen, news correspondent
The Northeastern University College Republicans (NUCR) have more than doubled in size this academic year, jumping from an average of 15 members per meeting in the fall to an average of around 35 per meeting this semester, according to club leaders.
NUCR member Philip Kravtsov, a senior political science major, attributed the club’s growth mainly to the recent election of President Donald J. Trump.
“Around 60 people – including everybody who at one point was a member throughout the years and a variety of new ones – showed up to the club meeting after Trump’s win,” Kravtsov said.
Former NUCR treasurer and current member James Neary, a junior political science major, said he believes this expansion rate will sustain as more students learn about the club’s existence.
“We will continue to grow as we become more vocal on campus,” Neary said. “As more people become aware of us, they’ll know they have the opportunity to seek a forum where they can expound their political beliefs safely, but not without fear of ridicule because we will challenge people’s political views, and we will force people to defend their views with ration and legitimate facts.”
NUCR Vice President Noah Tagliaferri, a freshman computer science major, said he believes the growth of the club is in response to the perceived growing trend of liberal ideology at Northeastern’s campus over the years and ostracism some with conservative values have faced on college campuses.
“The students in this club spend only one hour a week not being surrounded by a liberal world,” Tagliaferri said. “This is a world that is telling him or her they are wrong, their views are wrong, and this is their one hour a week to get those views out.”
Wednesday nights at 8 p.m., NUCR meets at 106 West Village G to be briefed on the significant current affairs of the week, discuss upcoming events for the club and to participate in an open discussion on a wide array of political topics.
During this open discussion panel, Tagliaferri said anything is fair game to speak out on, even thoughts that may be offensive.
The group members said they also try to observe the political process whenever possible. Last week, NUCR sent 25 of its members to Washington for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual political seminar featuring a variety of conservative activists and politicians. The most recent CPAC included talks by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Ted Cruz and Trump.
Many of the members in the club believe that the stigma attached to them is unfair and inaccurate. Tagliaferri said the club openly embraces any type of opposition, and encourages all forms of civil discourse.
“The group that we are isn’t the way people portray us to be,” Tagliaferri said. “We’re a group of motivated students that would love for people to come down, even if you don’t agree with us, and try to convince us otherwise.”
Photo by Alex Melagrano