It is no secret that the 2016 election cycle has been a messy one for the Republican Party. The Party has split into many fragments, as was evidenced by the seventeen candidates vying for the presidential nomination in the primary elections. At Wellesley, conservative students feel the pressures of being the political minority and juggling this identity while watching their party question its own. Therefore, the Wellesley College Republicans will not be endorsing nor denouncing any candidate in the 2016 presidential election.
The purpose of this organization is not to pass judgements on any candidates; rather, the Wellesley College Republicans is a forum in which students can explore conservative thinking and have meaningful, constructive conversation. The organization celebrates the vast variety of right-wing thought that it brings together. However, a constituency of conservatives from across the country means that there is no one-size-fits-all mold for a Wellesley College Republican. Thus, there is no one-size-fits-all candidate to represent all Wellesley College Republicans.
Members of WCR fall along many different points of the political spectrum; they identify as moderates, libertarians, fiscal conservatives and beyond. Naturally, the assortment of beliefs that comprise the College Republicans naturally leads members to be drawn to different candidates. Members are encouraged to become involved with any campaign, local or national, that interests them.
This past primary season, WCR members individually became involved with both the Cruz and Rubio campaigns. Wellesley Students for Rubio, while started by a WCR member, was completely separate from the College Republicans organization. This is similar to the 2012 election, in which individual members of the College Republicans worked for and supported the Mitt Romney campaign while the organization itself never offered an official endorsement.
In keeping with the guidelines of the Massachusetts Alliance of College Republicans, of which the Wellesley College Republicans is an active chapter, WCR cannot endorse any candidate during the primary election season.
The organization also has chosen not to endorse candidates in the past primary as well. Membership in the MACR and, therefore, the College Republican National Committee, provides WCR with valuable connections to conservative groups on other college campuses throughout Massachusetts.
Early last month, the Cornell University Republicans publicly endorsed Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson. The organization was quickly removed from the New York Federation of College Republicans for supporting a candidate other than the Republican Party’s nominee.
This reaction is likely due to the New York Federation of College Republican’s mission statement, which states that the organization works to assist in the election of Republican candidates.
This incident highlights the depth of the Party’s divide and the differences of opinion between same-state organizations, even at the college level.
WCR is interested in spending this election season helping its constituents explore and develop their own personal opinions rather than supporting any one presidential campaign.
Given the incredibly tense political climate of this election season, the Wellesley College Republicans stand by their long-standing decision to neither endorse nor denounce any presidential candidate.