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The Blue & Gray Press | August 21, 2019

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Letter: College Republicans offend with cheap ploy

Dear Editor,

If there was any instance of me turning red during this election, it’s because I was scarlet with anger. The College Republicans on our campus drove me, and many other students, past our boiling points. I’m pretty moderate in most cases when it comes to politics. Had the Young Democrats done the same thing, it would have bothered me too. First of all, back in September the College Republicans painted the rock in memoriam of Sept. 11, complete with their trademark, “<3, the College Republicans.”

Hold up one minute. I’m sorry, but the tragedy of Sept. 11 does not belong to one select, elite group of people, and it is disgusting that they would take ownership of this event by declaring their namesake upon the rock. It was a tasteless ploy to get their names out there and to make sure that we all know, as the modern GOP is famous for doing, that the Right is for true Americans.

Second, the bloodbath that was their campaign in 2010 was absolutely ridiculous. Although the club, claimed they were simply trying to make sure people knew what was going on, their methods were disturbing. I can’t tell you how many other advertisements and posters the College Republicans covered when they crudely slapped their own posters all over the campus bulletin boards.

Instead of raising awareness, the College Republicans assaulted students with rabid campaigning that did nothing but alienate the moderate. Why not advertise for something useful, like a question-and-answer session or public forum where students could ask about the platforms that GOP candidates were running on?

It was simply their way of getting people to vote for their party without considering what their platforms were.

Finally, as I look out my dorm room window, I can see a cutesy “Fred is Red, <3, the College Republicans!” banner hanging by the fountain.
Charming. Nothing like a victory lap from the loudest club on campus.

Lauren McGrath is a freshman.


  1. Phoebe

    I was appalled and offended by that banner as well. I thought it was trashy and common. Have some decency.

  2. Kat

    I’m just surprised that the 14 Republicans at this school managed to put up so many banners.


  3. Moderate

    Hey Lauren- get over it! This is college. People have differing opinions, just like in the real world. Get used to it or get out!

  4. Wow.

    I mean, you’re a freshman so I don’t think you can really comment on what they did because you don’t know how things have been done in the past. I didn’t even know CRs existed until this week – that’s how under the radar they’ve been. I agree with Moderate; it’s college and, while our campus is generally conservative about advertising group causes, this is exactly the type of campaign bigger university activists and clubs generate. And come on really, doesn’t everyone slap their flyers over everyone else’s? That’s being a bit sensitive.

  5. Really

    Are you telling me that you really would have attended a Q&A session on the GOP platform?

  6. um

    “People have differing opinions, just like in the real world. Get used to it or get out!”

    Ditto to you on that one, “Moderate.” The author was also just expressing an opinion.

    And, “Wow,” in addition to stealing my patented practice of posting with an interjection in the name field ($5 every time you post from now on, thank you)…I don’t think you’re correct that this practice has been the norm in the past. Finally, how is it “sensitive” to want clubs on campus to be respectful?

  7. Jess

    Well, “Really,” seeing as she had enough time to write an entire letter about her thoughts, I’d suspect that she WOULD attend something of the sort.

  8. Lauren

    Why yes, I am a freshman. I was commenting on the campaigning I saw THIS YEAR specifically, so I think grade has nothing to do with it. I said nothing about 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006. I wrote about 2010, and the fact that I am a first year should have nothing to do with your critique. I wrote what I saw, and I generated a response- my aim exactly.

  9. BAM

    The College Republicans regularly have guest speakers at their meetings, which they ADVERTISED, so if you, or any other students, were interested in a question-and-answer session, you can’t complain. They gave out campaign literature in the Nest and Underground highlighting Wittman’s platform. They undeniably worked hard this semester for something they believe in, and they should be commended for that. Political activism is something to expect, and appreciate, on a college campus.

    Also, I am assuming that you didn’t attend the forum that Governor McDonnell spoke at earlier this year, correct? Because otherwise you would realize how unwarranted your complaints are. Do your research first.

  10. Lauren

    After doing my research, because I am NOT the idiot you try to make me out to be, I have found little evidence of these “frequent” guest speakers. Plenty of phone-a-thons and sign making, but no guest speakers. I don’t doubt they have the occasional speaker, but according to their Facebook, Official UMW blog, and Twitter page, I have yet to find anything. I guess this advertising you speak of is happening under a rock somewhere. McDonnell was not campaigning at the time. Since this concerns a campaign, your complaint holds no relevance. Finally, next time, don’t hide behind a fake name. I wrote the darn letter, you’re criticizing me, and at least I have the gall to make myself known. That goes for a few of you.

  11. um

    Yeah, seriously…BAM, Really, Wow, and any other interjections other than the illustrious and inimitable um ought to be ashamed of themselves.

    As for BAM’s specific objections to the letter, they seem like non sequiturs. The argument seems to be: The CR’s worked hard, advertised, believed in themselves, and held a forum for Governor McDonnell this year…and thus should have carte blanche to be disrespectful and rude whenever they want. How, exactly, would attending a forum for Gov. McD invalidate the concerns about the behavior of the CRs?

    I just hope the Republicans who just took control of the House will be able to present solutions to the problems our nation faces that are more logical than the whiny, illogical responses to criticism that we’re seeing from Republicans at UMW.

  12. Megan

    I was mostly annoyed at the blind politics. The signs all set VOTE RED! But what the hell does “red” stand for? How about “Vote Red because [insert random brief issue I might actually give a crap about]”? I’m not some dumb sheep (I go to college for a reason – it’s called education) and I’m not going to vote for some republican because your cute little obsessive fliers tell me to. Also, the fact that there were HUNDREDS of these fliers ticked me off. I couldn’t #*@!ing get away from them! And when you post something on a bulletin board, it is COURTEOUS not to cover up the more interesting and intriguing fliers underneath. I have lost a lot of respect for the CRs this year.

    And I think Lauren’s years here has absolutely no relevance to her opinion, and I think you’re a troll for trying to lowblow her like that. I’m glad someone agreed with me on this ridiculous “campaign” they had. Thanks for the article, Lauren. 🙂

  13. Seriously?

    You’re complaining about there being too many signs posted around campus? It’s no different then driving down the road and seeing a candidate’s campaign sign posted every other foot. Are you going to write a letter to the paper complaining about that too?

    All clubs on campus display their posters on the community bulletin boards. When you put up a poster, unless the board is completely bare, it is going to cover up another organization’s work. When the CRS “crudely slapped” their signs on the boards they probably did so with the realization that tomorrow another club could come by and just as easily cover up their display.

    I understand where you’re coming from with the painting of the rock issue but your use of terms like “bloodbath” to describe their campaign is a little ridiculous. Sorry you feel “alienated” as a moderate. Maybe you should start a moderate group on campus and hold your own Q&A sessions, inform people of the candidates’ platforms in some way that you don’t find “disturbing.”

  14. um

    I think the difference between posting signs on billboards and on the road is that, as you’ve noted, you’re not covering up someone else’s poster. Posting lots of signs on the road–fine. Posting a few fliers that cover up the fliers of others–fine. Posting a ton of fliers in a location that other people are trying to use for advertising too in a fashion that is obviously provocative–not fine.

  15. Arnold

    I would prefer if no one exposes me to viewpoints I’m uncomfortable with while I’m in college. If UMW could please focus on this in the future I would appreciate it.


    Right on, Arnold. I was reading the “Gay Speaker Addresses Republicans” article and saw this in related posts. This article is hilarious! Their blogsite has guest speakers all over it btw. But anyway, I was at the ICA awards tonight and CRs won for Innovation in Advertising. I doubt we’ve seen the last of their aggressive campaigning but I hope we’ve seen the last of these over the top complaints.

  17. Lame

    Still glad you guys ‘voted red?’ Have fun forcing a default because you can’t compromise. Oh, and Reagan raised the debt ceiling 19 times in 8 years. But you know, we must defeat Obama!!

    You’re all jokes.

  18. Fleur de Lulz

    Have fun caring about something that you couldn’t change one way or another, no matter how many people in Fredericksburg voted.

    And I don’t care about politics one bit, but don’t forget about what mommy and daddy should have told you: “Just because one person did it, doesn’t mean you have to also. If Timmy jumped off of a bridge, would you do the same?”