Local Politicians Join College Republicans in Observing Constitution Day


Photograph courtesy of Kaelan Smith

College Republicans at the University of Illinois hosted a Constitution Day BBQ last Monday, Sept. 17. The event honored the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

     Kaelan Smith is president of College Republicans. The senior political science major also works on the reelection campaign for U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis.

    Other members are working on campaigns for Gov. Bruce Rauner, state Rep. Mike Murphy and state Rep. Avery Bourne.

   “We value [the Constitution] as a foundational tool for democracy and the values we try to live by here on campus,” Smith said.

   According to Smith, between ten and 20 students gathered in the PAC Restaurant to enjoy a complimentary meal provided by Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray. Joining Gray was state Rep. Murphy and Jack Campbell, the Republican candidate for Sangamon County Sheriff.

   The three officials discussed their campaigns and issues relevant to the upcoming election with attendees.Smith said he was pleased with the turnout, given his organization has struggled the past few years to define its purpose and generate support. “We’re not all about networking with Republicans,” Smith said. “We’re also about just being with each other and forming friendships based on similar views or interests.”

    Smith stressed that students do not need to be looking for political work or identify as strictly conservative in order to engage with his organization.

Those interested in networking can attend an internship fair hosted by College Republicans Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the Quad.

    “We’ll have candidates and representatives of campaigns there to talk about opportunities to get involved with political campaigns here in Springfield.” Smith said. “We might also have representatives from official government offices.”

   The group is also planning a debate with College Democrats to discuss election issues important to the UIS campus. Smith expects the debate to be held in late October, although a specific date is still pending.

   “Whether Republican or Democrat, we agree that students need to go vote, with how much is at stake in this upcoming election,” he said.