Poli-Palooza brings together two opposing sides

Rachel Jenks

Democrats and Republicans are putting aside their differences for one night to help educate students about politics and encourage their participation in the upcoming presidential election.

The College Democrats and College Republicans are co-hosting a bipartisan Poli-Palooza from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 15 to provide information to students about the presidential candidates for the 2016 election.

Maggie Rose, treasurer for the College Democrats, said  the event was conceived last fall when the College Democrats reached out to the College Republicans and Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society. Both groups hope  to get students interested in the political system and to underscore the importance of voting.

“In a democracy, being involved in our government is very important,” College Republican President Jake Ogea said. “Unfortunately not many young Americans are involved.”

This is because, according to Rose, young voters are not always informed about all the different candidates and issues.

“It’s important for people to come because a lot of people say they don’t know enough about the candidates and issues,” Rose, a senior political science major, said. “We want people to come and learn about the candidates and their policies so they’ll vote in the upcoming election. It’s a really important one and we want people to participate. “

In order to help students become informed both the College Democrats and College Republicans will have tables set up with information about the presidential candidates. Rose said the groups are encouraging undecided voters to attend and learn about all the candidates.

The College Democrats will also have several politicians coming to the event as well. Marquette County Commissioner for District Six Karen Alholm, State Representative Scott Dianda from the 110th district, candidates for the first congressional district, Jerry Cannon and Lon Johnson, and candidate for  Marquette county sheriff Mike Klein will all attend the Poli-Palooza.

The College Republicans have also invited several politicians, such as former State Senator Jason Allen and State Senator Tom Casperson, and are hopeful for attendance confirmations soon.

There will also be a table for students to be able to register to vote.

Although it will be too late to vote in the March 8 Michigan primary election, those registering will be eligible to vote in the presidential election in November. The Poli-Palooza, which will be held in Pioneer Rooms A and B in the UC, will have music by Radio X and food for the attendees.