On Sunday, March 4, JSU College Republicans and Democrats hosted their first Bipartisan Ball. The event was held on the eleventh floor of the Houston Cole Library from 6-9 p.m. and featured speakers from both sides of the political parties.
Doors opened at 5:30 and the event began promptly at 6 with Chairman of the JSU College Republicans, Jesse Battles, giving the welcome and leading in the pledge of allegiance. College Republicans member Coleman Amason gave the blessing for the dinner catered by Sodexo.
Senator Phil Williams was the first speaker featured for the night. He was followed by the department head of Political Science Dr. Timothy Barnett, activist Lilly Ledbetter, State Representative Craig Ford and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.
Merrill posted photos on Facebook the following day and expressed his support for the students.
“These students are leading the way!” Merrill wrote.
Chairwoman of the JSU College Democrats, Alexis Paige, delivered the closing and thanked everyone for attending the event.
Candidates currently running for office on both sides were in attendance. They, as well as the elected officials, students and members of the community stayed afterwards to hear from each other.
“This was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had,” said Battles, who was heavily involved with organizing the event. “I want Jacksonville State to be an example of how individuals with different political philosophies can engage in civil discourse with their peers. I am thankful for everyone who helped make this event happen, as well as those who attended. It was an amazing experience with inspirational people.”
The JSU College Republicans meet in Brewer Hall room B100. Food is provided. For more information, contact Jesse Battles at email@example.com
The JSU College Democrats meet in Brewer Hall room 229 and often host events such as Donuts with the Dems. For more information, contact Alexis Paige at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The JSU College Republicans hosted Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Alabama Senator, on Sunday, September 24 at Houston Cole Library as part of his campaign. The speech came two days prior to his victory over President Trump’s endorsed candidate Luther Strange in Tuesday’s Republican primary run-off election. The Senate seat was left vacant by Jeff Sessions after Trump appointed him to the position of U.S. Attorney General.
Moore stated that “Washington is watching this election and attempting to control the vote in Alabama” and said that he believes the opposition against him is because he is “not part of the establishment.” Moore claimed that there is “a lot of fighting between parties” and that “nothing is getting done.” He stated that Trump’s agenda has stagnated but that with his victory, he could help repeal the Affordable Care Act and help the fight against “illegal aliens” coming to the country.
Moore said that despite threats against him and his family and slanderous ads paid for by the Luther Strange campaign he has run no negative ads against his former opponent.
In his speech, Moore stressed the importance of the limits of the Supreme Court and other governing bodies imposed by the Constitution and argued for smaller government. He claimed that the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage changed the definition of marriage and that is was not within the Court’s right to do so. Moore went on to compare the Supreme Court and its interference with “God-given law” to the genocide of people who wore eye-glasses during the reign of Pol-Pot and the Khmr Rouge in Cambodia.
“The government is out of control” said Moore. His promise is to keep the government restricted to their powers given by the Constitution and preserve the Christian ideals this nation was founded on.
Moore stated that the government is trying to “flip the 1st Amendment so that God has nothing to do with it.” He claimed that “God gives you the right to disbelieve” and that without a Christian government we could have an alternative like an “Islamic form of government.” According to Moore, there is “no law against free exercise of religion and fulfillment of our duty to the Creator.”
The JSU College Republicans are a “fast growing political group dedicated to giving conservative students on campus a greater voice.”
According to the group’s vice president, Coleman Amason, the group contains “many different beliefs, just like any political organization should.”
Amason said the group does not endorse any one faction of the Republican Party.
“We stand for the obvious intentions this nation was founded on, like personal liberties, freedom from despotism and tyranny, government accountability, fiscal conservatism, freedom of speech and a much smaller government,” Amason said.
The group does not take public stances on issues that the party may be split on due to the differences of opinions within the group. The College Republicans meet every second and fourth Tuesday in Brewer Hall room 213 at 7:00 p.m.
“It wasn’t easy getting Roy Moore to come speak at JSU,” said Amason. “Our president, Jesse Battles, did a great job making sure every precaution was in place for the event.”
Amason’s personal response to the speech was that it was “one of the best he’s ever given.”
“Judge Moore consistently recited historical documents from America’s founding from memory, all while tying those documents into his unwavering faith in the U.S. Constitution,” Amason said.
Wesley Brewer, a 21-year-old sophomore at JSU who attended the speech said, “I did not appreciate the repetitive moral stance he took on almost every issue.”
Brewer agreed with parts of Moore’s speech, too: “I agreed with his ideals on the Constitution and its goal on limiting power to the three branches.”
Brewer appeared to have a moderate stance stating that he has mixed feelings if Moore is elected to the Senate.
“Although he stands for limited power,” said Brewer, “his moral stance may be a conflict of interest while in the Senate.”
Other students disagreed with Moore, such as Noah Davis, a sophomore and president of the Secular Student Alliance.
“The thing I disliked most about Moore’s speech was his reasoning behind his claim that America is a Christian nation,” Davis said. “He cites the parts of the Constitution where God is mentioned but does not recognize that all references to a creator are made to define the freedoms of individuals as rights given at birth and not to define the law.”
“The thing I took away from the speech was that his arguments were fallacious,” Davis continued. “He claimed that the Constitution is often misinterpreted by people, especially the Supreme Court justices, but his interpretation is right based on the sole interpretation of someone that agrees with him.”
The Secular Student Alliance is dedicated to secular advocacy on campus and in the community as well as a support system for atheists, agnostics, and skeptics. The group meets on Monday night in Martin Hall room 202 at 6:30 p.m.
Roy Moore, also known as “The Ten Commandments Judge,” has been the subject of controversy since he was ousted from his position as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
In 2003, Moore was removed from office by a judicial ethics panel after refusing to remove a 5,000-pound monument of the Ten Commandments from the Supreme Court building. He ran again and won in 2012 but was again under scrutiny of the same ethics panel after defying a federal court ruling on same-sex marriage. He resigned in April of this year to focus on Sessions’ vacant Senate position.
Moore sparked controversy days before his JSU appearance with this quote: “Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. Who’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A congress? No. It’s going to be God.”
This quote sparked backlash as his use of the terms “reds and yellows” was seen as racially insensitive to Native Americans and Asians.
Moore’s Democratic opponent in the December 12th general election is Doug Jones, a lawyer and politician who has been involved in prominent court cases such as the Monsanto case in Anniston and the last trial of those the bombers of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.