College campuses are traditionally hot spots for political questioning and discussion, and UR should be no exception. The responsibility for fostering this activism rests primarily in the hands of politically minded student organizations. But while some student groups embraced their roles as political instigators at UR in the months leading up to the election last Tuesday, other groups did not do enough.

Political Science Undergraduate Council and R World R Vote did a great job encouraging political involvement in the student body since students returned to UR in early September. PSUGC was especially proactive, organizing presidential and vice-presidential debate parties, bringing in professors from UR’s political science department to comment on current events and hosting an election night event in Hirst Lounge on Nov. 4. But the responsibility should not rest solely in an organization like PSUGC, whose aims extend beyond just encouraging student political involvement.

College Democrats and College Republicans missed the opportunity to be more assertive at UR this semester, in particular, by organizing debates, encouraging students to vote and getting involved with local elections. While Students for Barack Obama, a branch of College Democrats, engaged the student body, their impressive successes should not be attributed to the College Democrats because they rose up independently of the group. Such partisan groups should be playing the role of advocators at UR. College Democrats claim they are ‘committed to advancing the principles of the Democratic Party,” and yet they proved themselves invisible during a hugely pivotal election.

These two groups can still redeem themselves. Even though the election season has passed, they can take advantage of the momentum and political enthusiasm that has been fostered by two months of scrupulous election coverage. College Democrats and College Republicans should take advantage of the current lull to reorganize and build a substantial following so that, in the future, they are ready to be significant players when in the midst of political fervor.

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