University Libertarians new RSO on campus, hopes to appeal to students
Tyler Hicks is only a freshman, but he hopes his vision for the newly formed University Libertarians registered student organization on campus will last long after he graduates.
Hicks, a Jackson native, chose to form the University Libertarians after deciding there should be a group on campus to represent the ideals of Libertarians.
“I hope the group will grow and gain influence both on and off campus,” he said.
The process of starting a RSO is one Hicks said didn’t take too long. From the time he found an academic adviser to filing for a room request, the entire process took about a week.
Hicks recognizes the other two political organizations on campus – the College Republicans and the College Democrats – and is eager to work with the College Republicans.
“There’s no reason why we can’t (work together),” Hicks said. “As a registered Republican, I understand the importance of cooperation. I want to see (people) joining both of our groups.”
Professor of Political Science James Hill is the adviser to the University Libertarians. He said he likes to see student engagement when it comes to the political process and is there to help the group build its organization.
Hill said society is based on a two-party system, and many issues are left out of political discussions.
“Libertarians have important public policy issues,” he said.
Vice-chair of the College Republicans and Temperance sophomore Brittany Miller said her political organization doesn't feel threatened by the University Libertarians.
“The point of all these political parties and RSOs is to get students involved. University Libertarians allows students who affiliate with the Libertarian Party to get involved,” Miller said.
Miller isn’t worried about membership dropping in the College Republicans. She plans to work with University Libertarians and is coordinating upcoming events with them.
“Ultimately, we’re working for similar goals,” Miller said. “We look forward to teaming up with them for events and working together.”
Hicks has high hopes for his RSO.
“By the time I graduate, I would like to see the University Libertarians as a fully sustainable group that has as much status and prowess as (the) other two political groups,” he said.
Hicks cites two reasons for the absence of a Libertarian organization at Central Michigan University up until now: the campus size and the ideology of Michiganders.
“The political minds in Michigan tend to be more Democratic,” Hicks said.
Hicks said the Libertarian Party has an appeal to young people that stems from the passion its members have about individual rights.
“That’s what grasps the youth,” he said. “(The Libertarian Party) represents individual rights more than other groups, which is what the youth are advocating for.”
The University Libertarians meet at 7 p.m. every Tuesday in Anspach 154.