With Wellesley College alumna Hillary Clinton ’69 in the running for the American presidency, the Wellesley College Republicans, Wellesley College Democrats and the Committee for Political and Legislative Awareness (CPLA) are all hosting events up until the Nov. 8 presidential election day. Clinton, a Democrat, is the first major party female nominee in American history.
According to Wellesley College Republicans President Lauren Keena ’17, the College Republicans will be co-hosting CPLA’s debate watch party on Oct. 19 in Pendleton 239 from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for the third and final U.S. presidential general election debate. They will additionally have a viewing room open to everyone, but geared a bit more to those with political views that are right of center.
“WCR [Wellesley College Republicans] has had debate watch parties for this election cycle since the primary debates began,” Keena said. “We are continuing that practice as the cycle comes to a close.”
For the same debate, the Wellesley College Democrats and Wellesley Students for Hillary will have a viewing party from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in Founders 120. Additionally, the organization will have a pre-election and button-making party on Wednesday, Nov. 2.
“There is a lot of interest in these [political] events, and it is important to make sure that there is not just physical space for people to come together and watch, but also space for partisanship,” CPLA Chair Zoe Iacovino ’17 said. “CPLA is committed to providing a non-partisan space for all students to feel welcome and engaged in this election, but we support groups who want to program for their extended members.”
Various branches of the Wellesley Alumnae Association will also be hosting events throughout the United States and on Wellesley’s campus.
“While [the Alumnae Association] is involved in the planning of events, the Alumnae Association is a 501c3 nonprofit and is not involved with politics,” Wellesley College Alumnae Association student administrator Rachel Dodell ’18 said. “The events will be celebrating the historic nature of the election and female leadership in general.”
One such event hosted by the Wellesley College Alumnae Association will be on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and will take place from 8 p.m. to midnight in the Dana Chapman Walsh ’66 Alumnae Hall. Many alumnae in the Wellesley Women for Hillary Facebook group have already booked tickets to campus for the event, in some cases coming from across the country. It will be an Election Night 2016 Watch Party; however, it will still remain a nonpartisan event.
The Wellesley Club of Columbus, Wellesley Club of New York City, Wellesley Club of Palm Beaches and the Wellesley Club of Los Angeles are all hosting watching parties on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Even if Clinton does win the presidency, Dodell said that the Wellesley College Alumnae Association will still not be able to get involved in any politics beyond planning events as a nonprofit 501c3 organization.
CPLA will also have a couple discussion-based events in the first week of November, according to Iacovino. Iacovino said more details on those events will be released soon. Additionally, there will be a designated room of its own on Nov. 8 on the Wellesley campus for students to view the election results.
“I am sure that all of campus will be buzzing on Election Day,” Keena said. “It should be a very exciting day. I’m sure that it will be tense at times, but I trust that the Wellesley community will remain respectful.”
Iacovino said that nonpartisanship should improve the community and overall respect as well.
“When we can think critically about our views, we can be more sure about them, and being able to understand people we disagree with can only improve our community,” Iacovino said. “We learn a lot more when we get a chance to talk with people we disagree with.”