Harvard Republican Club To Right a 'Wrong' Image

The Harvard Republican Club aims to correct the ways students might be “Wrong About the Right” in a campaign launched this morning.

“The goal of our campaign isn’t necessarily to spark debate, but rather to publicize that there is an HRC on campus whose political beliefs might match your own,” said Luis A. Martinez ’12, the Harvard Republican Club vice president for speakers and political discourse.

Additionally, “Wrong About the Right” is intended to eliminate misconceptions about the Republican party and “let everybody know that the HRC is here to engage in dialogue,” Martinez said.

According to Martinez, the club plans to use social media to blanket the campus.

Aaron C. Gyde ’14, who spearheaded the effort, said in addition to creating a Facebook event, they will run ads on Facebook and in The Crimson and tweet from the newly created Twitter account, wrongabtdaright.

Starting this morning, and continuing throughout the week, members will be hanging posters, handing out flyers outside the Science Center, and sending out a video over House and dorm lists.

The flyers are meant to convey that the Republicans want to be seen as the “party of yes,” instead of the “party of no,” Martinez said.

The flyers say “YES,” above a word—such as Freedom, Opportunity, or Immigration—and the Republican elephant.

The video shows club members explaining why they are Republicans to bring a more human element to the party.

“We’re real people with real reasons for our beliefs,” Gyde said.

The video ends with Mark A. Isaacson ’11, the president of the HRC, saying, “I’m a Republican because I think... Well, that’s it.”

The club has discussed the campaign since early September at the weekly Speakers and Political Discourse committee meetings. Freshmen conceived of and organized the campaign, Martinez said, adding that he thinks this makes it more effective than if club leaders had handed down a plan.

Harvard College Democrats President Jason Q. Berkenfeld ’11 is skeptical about the effect this campaign will have on campus.

“At the end of the day, the vast majority of this campus is progressive,” he said. “At the end of the day, the vast majority of this campus knows what the Republican party stands for, which is overwhelmingly contradictory to the values that we care about most as students.”

Martinez said he hopes the Republican Club’s campaign will demonstrate that Republicanism “is not a manifestation of your worst nightmare.”

—Staff writer Monika L. S. Robbins can be reached at mrobbins@college.harvard.edu.

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