Wednesday, March 22, 2006

March 22, 2006 Meeting of the Oberlin College Republicans
MINUTES

Present: J. Bruno, B. Garrett, D. Riczo

I. Support Our Troops Drive
- Drive ended last Sunday, March 19.
- JB and BG collected donations held at Gibson's, Ben Franklin, and Missler's, and dropped off certificates of appreciation for these businesses.
- During the week after spring break, the CRs organization will make its own donation for the drive -- JB and BG will make purchases.
- USO of Northern Ohio has expressed a desire to meet the CRs, in appreciation of our effort with this event.
- Two representatives will likely attend the next CRs meeting, Wednesday, April 5, and pick up all donations at that time.

II. Update on Ronald Reagan Political Lectureship Series
- BG reported that John Fund (http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/) will be coming to speak on Tuesday, May 2. S. Shapiro will attend.
- Probably will not be any other speakers for the series this semester.

III. David Arredondo Visit
- David Arredondo, Chair of the Lorain Area Republican Party, will be coming to address the CRs on Wednesday, April 12, at our regular meeting time of 7:30pm.
- Will post flyers after spring break to advertise the lecture, entitled "The Republican Party--A History of Freedom and Civil Rights."

IV. Death Penalty Debate
- JB reported difficulty in finding a qualified speaker to articulate a pro-capital punishment stance in a debate with attorneys invited by the Oberlin ACLU.
- Two possible leads: prosecutor or other staff member from the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Ohio, and Rep. Bob Latta (R), Chair of the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee. Waiting to hear back from both; will advise.
- BG suggested trying to contact the Buckeye Institute.

V. Vice President Election
- BG unanimously elected Vice President; will retain Treasurer position as well.

VI. Documentary Screening
- Patrick Henry Center suggested screening a documentary entitled "Emancipation Revelation Revolution" about black conservatives and the stereotype that all blacks vote Democrat.
- PHC unable to lend the video, but JB will look into purchasing a copy so the CRs can screen it.

VII. New Iraq Policy Position
- JB proposed a new official CRs position on the War in Iraq.
- Discussion of proposed statement took place; two changes made.
- Current version of proposed position, to be voted for approval on Wednesday, April 5:

"The CRs believe that success in Iraq is attainable, and that U.S. forces should remain on the ground until two main conditions are met. First, a strong and legitimate democratic government must be formed. Second, the day-to-day security situation must be left in the hands of a well-trained and adept Iraqi police force or military. In order for these goals to be met, civilian policymakers must direct the U.S. military to learn from its mistakes, and to adapt its operations to meet the challenges of the insurgent enemy. Emphasis must be placed on enabling the new Iraqi government, along with that nation's armed forces, to provide protection and basic services to ordinary citizens. The United States must provide the training and resources necessary to make these goals achievable. At home, policymakers charged with crafting America's strategy in the war must develop a comprehensive plan for success and, with it, the eventual withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq."

VIII. Other Business
- DR reported participating in the student debt taskforce meeting that took place last week.
- Other students were generally receptive to DR's ideas, and a statement will be submitted for approval soon.
- Budget stuff: budget proposal for SFC must be prepared soon after break. JB reported attending SFC meeting on policies for 2006-2007 cycle. BG and JB will collaborate on the budget process.
- T-Shirts: BG will look into getting t-shirts for the group.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

March 15, 2006
Meeting of the Oberlin College Republicans

MINUTES

Present: J. Bruno, D. Riczo, S. Lacki, D. McHugh

I. Big Parade
- The CRs have been invited to participate in the Big Parade by decorating a float, by walking in the parade with a banner, etc. Discussion essentially ended at the decision that it would be fun to participate, but that it shouldn't be a priority, or come before organizing speakers or other programs.

II. Update on Support Our Troops Drive
- Drive ends this Sunday, March 19.

- JB will be in Wilder on Saturday, March 18, 2-4pm collecting donations.
- CRs could use volunteers to table at Missler's on Saturday, as well.
- Will make certificates of appreciation for our business partners in this community service project: Gibson's, Ben Franklin, and Missler's.
- Will pick up all donations from the stores on Monday, March 20 and will drive them out to the USO to donate.

III. Update on Ronald Reagan Political Lectureship Series
- BG reported by e-mail that John Fund (http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/) will be coming to speak on Tuesday, May 2.
- May try to get one other speaker in addition before the end of the semester.

IV. David Arredondo to Visit
- David Arredondo, Chair of the Lorain Area Republican Party, will be coming to address the CRs on Wednesday, April 12, at our regular meeting time of 7:30pm.
- Will post flyers to advertise the lecture, entitled "The Republican Party--A History of Freedom and Civil Rights."

V. Death Penalty Debate
- JB reported that the CRs were hoping to work with Oberlin ACLU to participate in a debate on capital punishment.
- CRs would bring in an attorney to argue a pro-death penalty stance; no members present raised concerns, though it was noted that the CRs have adopted no official position on capital punishment.
- No success thus far in finding an attorney interested and willing to participate; will advise.

VI. Documentary Screening
-
Patrick Henry Center suggested screening a documentary entitled "Emancipation Revelation Revolution" about black conservatives and the stereotype that all blacks vote Democrat.
- PHC will lend us the video for the screening, at no cost.
- Hope to hold screening in April, after spring break.

VII. Other Business
- Election for vacant Vice President position to be held next meeting.
- BG only current candidate.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

March 8, 2006
Meeting of the Oberlin College Republicans

MINUTES

Present: J. Bruno, B. Garrett, D. Riczo

I. Visitor from Ohio PIRG
- Spoke about Commission on Higher Education, requested that a representative of the CRs participate in OPIRG's Task Force on the issue, meeting on March 15. DR may be able to participate.

II. Update on Support Our Troops Drive
- JB will check in with Ben Franklin and Gibson's this week to see if we need to pick up any donations.
- Tabling in basement of Wilder went well on Monday and Tuesday; AF and NN were a great help and passed out a bunch of flyers.
- Short article about the drive appeared in the March 7 issue of the
Oberlin News-Tribune.
- Need volunteers to accept donations in Wilder Lobby, Saturday, March 11, 2-4 p.m. and/or at Ben Franklin or Missler's.
- JB will send out an e-mail asking for volunteers.

III. Update on Ronald Reagan Political Lectureship Series
- BG reported that we are honing in on a date for John Fund to come speak, likely in early May.
- May try to get one other speaker in addition before the end of the semester.

IV. Patrick Henry Center Suggestions
- JB reported suggestions for: Malkin follow-up event, advertisement in the
Oberlin Review, and formation of conservative student group.
- Discussion suggested that the timing isn't right for either a Malkin follow-up event or the proposed advertisement. If students are interested in forming a conservative group, the CRs encourage that, but members and leadership should be focusing efforts on the Oberlin College Republicans, and not on forming additional organizations.

V. National Conservative Student Conference 2006 (YAF)
- JB suggested that interested members look into attending the Young America Foundation's conference this summer, taking place July 30 - August 5 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
- If funds are available at the end of the semester, CRs may be able to help support registration fees, etc.

VI. Charter Revision
- Charter revisions approved on March 1, 2006 took effect immediately.
- Thus we have a vacant officer positions: Vice President; vacancy was officially announced; BG declared candidacy.

VII. T-Shirts
- CRs should make t-shirts, as suggested at the first meeting of the semester.
- BG will look in to possible vendors, designs/slogans for the shirt, etc.

VIII. Blog
- CRs now have an account on Blogger.com. Will be used to post letters written by CRs members or officers to campus publications, meeting minutes, other commentary.
-Any time a member wishes to write an opinion piece, e-mail it to JB to be posted on the CRs blog.

IX. Other Business
- D. Arredondo may be interested in coming to a meeting to speak about the history of the Republican Party, other topics; BG will forward information to JB.
- JB expressed hope that in future years CRs will have a huge elephant float in the Big Parade.
- Baldwin-Wallace College Republicans will host Star Parker in a speaking event on Thursday, March 16, 8pm. JB will send e-mail to see if members interested in organizing a group to attend.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Letter to the editor of the Oberlin Review, sent Feb. 23, 2006:


To the Editors:

On Wednesday, February 15, the Oberlin College Republicans (with the generous support of alumnus Steven Shapiro and others) brought conservative columnist and writer Michelle Malkin (OC ’92) to campus. Ms. Malkin spoke about the “unhinged” and hypocritical elements of the political left, and did the service of bringing attention to one aspect of the existing political landscape that has otherwise been conveniently ignored at Oberlin.

After the event, in his sardonic letter of February 17, “Campus Dialogue is Tiring,” Lee Rubenstein made a variety of brash assertions about the objectives and actions of our organization, including that the College Republicans (CRs) are “creating a conservative/liberal binary that portrays liberals as idiot freedom haters.” His body of evidence: an event flyer.

While I am pleased that Mr. Rubenstein put such thought into examining our advertisements, I’m afraid he missed the point.

Mr. Rubenstein writes that the CRs are “sick and tired of all the dialogue on this campus.” While perhaps an attractive fantasy to some, I can not think of a notion more overwhelmingly contradicted by the facts. To my knowledge, our organization has done more than any other in recent semesters to bring to campus points of view outside the realm of status quo political discussion at Oberlin. By ensuring that conservative ideas get exposure on campus, the CRs have made a vital contribution to the robustness of debate here, and the record demonstrates this plainly.

Mr. Rubenstein also writes about the choice of the CRs to use University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill on one of its flyers to illustrate (as Ms. Malkin did in her new book) this “unhinged” element of the left. Though the underlying logic is unclear, he thereby deduces that the CRs believe that all liberals “[like] to rationalize the brutal murder of thousands of people,” as Mr. Churchill did, and that respect for terrorism is “typical” of liberals. The fact is, these are the words of Mr. Rubenstein, and neither the CRs nor our guest Michelle Malkin ever stated or implied such a ludicrous thing.

Near the end of his letter, Mr. Rubenstein points his finger at members of the CRs for isolating themselves in “the echo chamber.” The characterization is absurd, and the presence of an outspoken group of conservatives has only gone to counter the echoes that might otherwise deafen Oberlin.

Jonathan Bruno
President
Oberlin College Republicans