University-affiliated political organizations will host Republican gubernatorial nominee Tate Reeves and Democratic State Senate candidate Kevin Frye to speak on campus prior to statewide elections on Nov. 5. The UM College Democrats will host a panel of local Democratic candidates, including Frye, later this month.
“The most important part (of hosting political speakers) for our students is to understand the messages of the campaigns as well as what it takes to run them,” UM College Democrats President Katie Davis said. “Also, it helps give ways to get plugged into the campaigns for this season.”
In an August blog post, Frye wrote that he is focused on running a campaign on enhanced job training, access to education and investing in Mississippi’s future.
“As your Senator I will continue to advocate for enhanced job training and workforce education, from high school through higher education, so our community can grow and thrive,” Frye wrote.
The UM College Republicans will host a similar event, featuring Republican gubernatorial nominee Tate Reeves as the speaker. Their goal is the same: to increase students’ political involvement on campus.
College Republicans Second Vice Chair Sarah Doty said that hosting Reeves is an opportunity for candidates to talk about themselves and why they’re running so that students can get to know them better. Doty said he does not know what Reeves will talk about during the meeting.
“As College Republicans, we think it’s really important to host potential elected officials in all levels so members can hear more about them,” Doty said.
Doty said membership in College Republicans has not been affected positively or negatively by the election year. However, Davis said the election year directly impacts student membership and event frequency for the College Democrats.
“We are hosting events to build the club overall, making it more fun and promoting active membership, but the election season provides more campaign opportunities for our members to be involved in,” Davis said.
Both organizations have also encouraged members of their organizations to register to vote. Doty said the College Republicans regularly remind students to vote in upcoming elections, and the College Democrats have been “tabling in front of the Union to encourage voter registration, particularly registration in Mississippi.”
When asked about the impact that politics has on both students and the campus environment, Doty addressed the importance of students being involved in politics.
The College Republicans will host Reeves in the Student Union at 5 p.m. on Oct. 15 and the College Democrats will host their panel of local democratic candidates in Bryant Hall on Oct. 24 at 5:15 p.m.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article misattributed several quotations about Reeves visiting campus. College Republicans Second Vice Chair Sarah Doty made those comments.