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College Republicans elect chair

I got flak from some people, especially the leftist elements on campus, for what they thought was a biased article, but I tried to cover it with the same objectivity I used when covering their events. The Republicans were convinced I was a Democrat and the Creative Resistance, leftist activist group, was convinced I was a Republican. I took that as a testament to the fairness of my articles.

College Republicans elect chair

by Clayton Woullard
The Metropolitan
Volume 26, Issue 31, April 1,2004

George Culpepper and the Auraria College Republicans have been making a lot of noise on campus since last fall.

They helped to remove a former Student Government Assembly president from the payroll. They led the fight against professor bias on campus. Most of all, they tried to challenge minds. Now, their former chairman Culpepper will be taking his leadership to the state level.

Culpepper, a Metro senior, was elected State Chairman of the Colorado Federation of College Republicans Saturday at the organization’s annual state convention at Johnson & Wales University. This marks the first time a student from the Auraria campus has been elected to that position in the CFCR’s history, which dates back to the 1940s and 50s.

“People are complaining that George Culpepper and the Auraria College Republicans are a thorn in their side,” Culpepper said. “They’ll just have to wait and see how big of a thorn I can be because I will bring every single problem that happens on Colorado’s colleges and universities to the forefront.”

As state chairman, Culpepper will still be a member of the Auraria College Republicans, but he will now be able work with some 15 chapters from the state’s colleges and universities in making sure they remain viable presences on their campuses.

“As their state chairman, it’s my duty, it’s my responsibility to make sure their voices are heard,” Culpepper said. “If I don’t, then I’m failing at my job.”

Culpepper, who formally resigned March 22 as chairman of the Auraria College Republicans, appointed Metro student Brian Glotzbach as interim chairman.

As state chairman, Culpepper will also serve as a non-voting member on the executive board of the Colorado Republican Party.

More than 60 student delegates from College Republicans chapters from all over Colorado attended the convention where politicians such as Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ted Halaby, Reps. Ramey Johnson, R-Jefferson and Shawn Mitchell, R-Broomfield, were on hand to address the party’s concerns.

Delegates also passed a resolution Culpepper wrote based on Mitchell’s House Bill 1315, which demands politcal diversity be protected on college campuses. Culpepper and the College Republicans aim to incorporate the resolution into the National Republican Party platform by passing it through the state caucuses April 13 and onto the state and national committee.

The vote came a week after Mitchell agreed to hold off on his bill after the presidents of the state’s four major higher education institutions, including Metro Interum President Ray Kieft, signed a memorandum promising to inspect the schools’ grievance policies.
Mitchell spoke about his bill—also called the Student Bill of Rights—toward the end of his speech, defending his reason for introducing it and why it’s still important.

“A lot of people thought the Student Bill of Rights was about trying to eliminate bias on campus. That’s not what it was aiming to address,” Mitchell said. “No law could or should regulate the classroom that minutely.”

Mitchell said his bill would have grafted on to an existing student bill that enforces laws which enforce student concerns such as graduation requirements and how many classes are offered.

“I would say that your right to speak out without fear of being punished for your political views is at least as important as (those other laws),” Mitchell said.

The College Republicans presented Mitchell with a plaque making him an honorary College Republican for his work in supporting the Republican voice on campus.

Ryan Call, University of Denver Law School College Republicans and chapter President and leader of the Students for Academic Freedom, said Culpepper will do very well in his new position because he’s a great leader.

“He’s not afraid to stand up and fight the good fight,” Call said. “Whether that means taking on the administration, fighting the left on campus…he’s certainly the best leader I’ve seen in Colorado for many years.”

Call also said one of Culpepper’s main responsibilities in his new role will be to politically motivate young people at all of the state’s campuses.

“The reason that people don’t get involved in politics is because people don’t ask them,” Call said. “And the fundamental strength of the College Republicans and (Culpepper’s) task is to do some serious asking.”

Candace Gill, Vice President for Student Fees in the SGA, attended the convention after being invited by Culpepper

“I came here for perspective to listen to what College Republicans…have to say,” Gill said. “I don’t consider myself a Republican, but I like to keep my views open in listening to others’ opinions.”

Culpepper said he invited all members of SGA, as well as the Board of Trustees, but only Gill showed up. Gill, who will campaign for the SGA presidential position this spring, said she thought other SGA members didn’t show up because of the negative perception of the College Republicans, and lack of interest.

“(It’s) because of the animosity, or the negativity that has arisen on campus because of the College Republicans,” Gill said. “I don’t think what the College Republicans are up to on a state level is of importance to some of the other representatives.”

Gill said she thinks Culpepper’s new position is not only positive for him as a college leader, but will be beneficial to his organization.

“I think it’s positive,” she said. “He’s got a lot of motivation and ambition to (be state chairman); I think he’s an individual who can represent the College Republicans well.”

Culpepper formed the Auraria College Republicans last September, but was initially afraid the chapter would fail.

“It’s hard to commit their personal time to outside organizations,” he said. “I knew if I was going to get people on board, we’d have to introduce some issues to be addressed.”

Glotzbach, who was suggested to be a member of a task force looking into Metro’s grievance policy, said he and the chapter will continue supporting Republicans in the elections this year, as well as sticking up for Republican views on campus.

“College campuses lean to the left…and to be a conservative student on a college campus and actually speak up for your beliefs, I commend all of our members for doing it, because it’s a tough place,” Glotzbach said.

Culpepper said there are a lot of misconceptions people on campus have of him.

“People think that I’m some hate-monger and don’t care to listen to their ideas,” he said, “but before I act, I listen…and people need to understand that.”

Before enrolling at Metro last fall, Culpepper, 29, attended a private college in Georgia and prior to that was a U.S. marine.

Culpepper grew up in the projects of the small town of Ochlocnee, Georgia where he said his mother struggled to get by on welfare and food stamps. He also said he used to be a registered Democrat before discovering that the party really did more damage than good.

“I lived the government into my life, but in the end the government did that to keep me from being successful,” he said. “Now I say I will never go back to that lifestyle.”

Culpepper plans to graduate in December with two bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and History, and someday would like to become a U.S. senator, his ultimate goal.

He also said he’ll continue to defend the organization he is so proud to be a part of.

“They wanted to mess with the sleeping giant and they’ve awakened the sleeping giant,” he said. “If anyone wants to step on the College Republicans’ toes, I guarantee you, I will be there to defend them.”

Copyright © 2004, Metropolitan State College of Denver.

The Met Online is a student-produced online version of the weekly student-run The Metropolitan newspaper, both operating under the direction of the Metropolitan State College of Denver Office of Student Publications.


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