Student Government Pulls the Plug on College Republicans | Politics | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Student Government Pulls the Plug on College Republicans 

Local Matters

It's a tough time to be a Republican at the University of Vermont. The Democrats control Congress, the Bush White House is under siege for firing U.S. attorneys and waging an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq - and last Tuesday, the Student Government Association officially de-recognized UVM's College Republicans club.

You could blame it on Newt Gingrich. The group borrowed $7000 from the SGA to pay for the former House Speaker's October 2005 appearance, and was unable to repay the loan.

According to College Republicans President Heather Baldyga, the club financed Gingrich's visit primarily through its annual SGA budget, but it needed the additional money to cover Gingrich's speaking fees. Baldyga declined to disclose the total charge for his visit. The Republicans intended to repay the $7000 through fundraising and ticket sales but came up short. An article in the student-run Vermont Cynic [College Republicans Shut Down]reported that, as of last week, the group still owed $6548.

The SGA froze the club's accounts in November 2005. According to SGA Treasurer Jessica Banks, the Republicans had enough money left over from their subsequent budget allocations to cover the debt. However, their failure to raise the money on their own was a violation of the terms of the loan. The SGA granted the club two extensions but warned its officers that, if they didn't pay up by the end of February 2007, they'd lose their club status.

Banks is surprised that anyone cares about the disciplinary action. "We de-recognize clubs all the time," she says, noting that student groups have a tendency to disappear when their leaders graduate. "I'm not quite sure why people are latching on to this one."

But College Republicans President Baldyga laments the disintegration of the sole conservative political group at Groovy UV, calling it "an unfortunate loss" for the notoriously liberal campus. "There's no diversity anymore," she says.

Baldyga, a senior from Westfield, Massachusetts, joined the College Republicans in her freshman year. She took over as president in January, after the former president resigned. "She said she was busy," Baldyga recalls. She adds that her predecessor may not have wanted the demise of the club to happen on her watch.

Baldyga knew that coming up with the cash would be difficult. She only managed to scrounge up a couple of hundred dollars from alumni before the deadline.

Baldyga expects that a core group of conservatives will attempt to reconstitute the club - they're meeting on Wednesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. in Lafayette Hall.

But don't expect them to be called the College Republicans. These youthful right-wingers may prefer to depart from the increasingly unpopular party line. "'Republicans' sends off this alarm that you're with the Bush administration," Baldyga explains. She suggests College Libertarians and UVM Conservatives as possible alternatives. At UVM, she says, Republicans "get a bad vibe."

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam. She also oversees Seven Days' parenting publication, Kids VT, and created the Good Citizen Challenge, a youth civics initiative. Resmer began her career at Seven Days as a freelance writer in 2001. Hired as a staff writer in 2005, she became... more


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation