Fresno State College Republicans give students access to hands-on experience, local politicians


The Fresno State College Republicans attended the California
Republican Party Fall 2011 Convention in Los Angeles which
was held on Sept. 16-18.
Photo courtesy of the Fresno State College Republicans

After being inactive for a number of years, the Fresno State College Republicans are back on campus. The club was brought back by chairman Matt Shupe and vice chair Matt Martinez after the hiatus.

The club was officially chartered on campus on Sept. 21, and has become fairly active on campus since then. They had a booth at the Fresno Fair and have held other events for members such as debate viewing parties and tailgates.

Since being chartered, the clubs membership has grown rapidly. The club currently has 32 official members on its roster and 54 on its Facebook.

“The great thing about the club is that it truly defines itself. The members decide what they want to do,” Shupe said.

One of the group’s biggest goals is longevity. “We want there to be a foundation strong enough to survive when the current leadership leaves. We want a group that has the ability to contribute to the party, the community and the campus,” Shupe said.

Another goal that the club has is to create a database that lists all the open staff positions for local elected officials so that students can see what positions are open for them to pursue. They hope to eventually open a database for students to browse for jobs, internships and volunteer positions.

The club also aims to form a coalition of conservative-leaning groups where issues within the community can be discussed.

The Fresno State College Republicans offer members several advantages. Some of the advantages include helping students find internships, networking with local and national officials and gaining hands-on experience in politics.

“Students should get involved with the club because the club offers new friendships, a wider political outlook in the sense that you need to know both sides, and it provides great networking opportunities,” social chair Marissa Cabusas said.

Cabusas also added that it’s a great experience for students who may not know a lot about politics but wish to become more politically inclined.

“We are also the most active political organization on campus,” member chair Cameron Whitworth said. “We also offer more opportunities because  more elected officials are Republican, and therefore there are more opportunities for members of the Republican party.”

Shupe first thought about bringing back the club in fall 2009 when he transferred to Fresno State.

Shupe had always had an interest in politics, which dates back to his childhood.

While in high school he was a member of the Model United Nations, and the YMCA Youth and government. He also interned for Assemblymen Jim Battin in Palm Springs, Calif.

When he arrived at Fresno State he noticed that there was no active conservative group on campus.

Then, after attending a couple Greater Fresno County Young Republican meetings and talking with a couple of the members, decided to bring the group back to campus.

Shupe and Martinez then began working on bringing back the group last June.

The club was then officially recognized and chartered this fall.

To become a member of the group, prospective members submit their contact information and attend a meeting. After deciding if the club is right for them, they then pay a $10 membership fee and then become official members.

“The great thing about the club is all the opportunities that it gives members. It is also great because it gives people in politics access to quality individuals,” Shupe said.

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