Rutgers Democrats endorse Hillary Clinton for president
With the 2016 presidential election just weeks away, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has been urging young Americans to vote for her come November.
Two Rutgers University clubs, Rutgers for Hillary and the Rutgers University Democrats, have officially endorsed Clinton and are working together to promote her campaign.
Jeremy Atie, president of Rutgers for Hillary and a School of Arts and Sciences senior, said members from both organizations plan on contributing to Clinton’s campaign in a variety of ways in the weeks leading up to the November election.
“We’re obviously going to phone bank and make calls and register people to vote and canvass at bus stops and at student centers,” Atie said. “Also, we’re taking trips down to Philadelphia to help out with events going on down there.”
Both organizations have also arranged for several public officials to visit campus over the next two months to speak to students, Atie said. Some of the names on the list of speakers include Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey's Sixth District, Democratic General Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter of New Jersey's 35th District and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.
Atie said he was particularly excited for these politicians' visits because it would offer students direct contact and real exposure to high-ranking public officials.
"They are going to come by and answer questions people have about Hillary, and this will give students a chance to really get to know these people," he said. "They will also tell students why it’s so important, particularly in this upcoming election, to vote blue."
Atie, who has supported Hillary since 2014, said he thinks Clinton is more than qualified to be the next president.
“She’s done work locally, nationally and internationally … I think that she’s done a great job," he said. "Outside of that, I think it’s really time to give a woman a chance to be president.”
Although Rutgers for Hillary and Rutgers University Democrats have endorsed Clinton, support for the Democratic nominee was not unanimous.
Rutgers University Democrats members were “pretty fairly split” between Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Clinton during the primary season, said Sonya Abrams, secretary of Rutgers University Democrats and a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore.
Had Sanders won the nomination, Abrams said the group would have endorsed him.
“But now that Hillary is the official nominee, we are endorsing her fully," she said.
Abrams said she was confident in Clinton as a candidate, and she thought it was revealing that Rutgers University College Republicans had released a statement saying it would not endorse Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“That kind of speaks to the fact that … there are some Republicans on campus who are very concerned and conflicted,” she said.
Once the presidential debates start, Abrams said Rutgers students, as well as the public, would realize Clinton was a superior candidate to Trump.
“I think the debates sway a lot more people than we realize,” she said. “That’s when everyone gets to see a real head-on-head interaction between the candidates.”
Viktor Krapivin, a member of Rutgers University Democrats and a School of Arts and Sciences junior, said he was confident that most Rutgers students saw voting for Clinton as the “right way forward.”
“Clearly the Republican Party, in their nomination of Donald Trump, has taken two steps back from what we as Americans really value,” Krapivin said. “I believe that students understand this and, as a result, I think that most students will support Hillary Clinton.”
Krapivin, who was born in Russia and emigrated to the United States when he was 3 years old, said one of the most attractive things about the Democratic Party was its inclusiveness and acceptance of people from all walks of life.
“I want ideals like these to shape the future of America,” Krapivin said. “And I believe that Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party nominee will lead the charge in this regard.”
Nicholas Simon is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. He is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum.