Harvard Republican Club
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Jose A. Vargas, Founder of the Define American foundation, speaks to the Harvard Republican Club on Tuesday evening. The Pulitzer Prize recipient visited Harvard to encourage conversation about undocumented immigrants.
“I’m not trying to be politically correct here. I am here illegally. If the cops wanted to show up and detain me, they can,” journalist Jose Antonio Vargas said. “But I as a person am not illegal. For me, the culture has to shift first, and unfortunately we’re not there yet.”
Matthew Moore ’19 delivers an argument for the Harvard College Democrats in the immigration debate hosted between the College Democrat and Republican student groups Wednesday night. Responding to a question about a lack of action on immigration reform by President Barack Obama during the first two years of the term, Moore said that “President Obama was reacting to a system that was completely broken”.
Harvard Republican Club members Cameron K. Khansarinia ’18 and former Crimson business associate Gwendolyn R. Thomas ’17 prepare for an immigration debate between the college Republican and Democrat student groups on Wednesday night. Debaters responded to a resolution on an expedited path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
While Donald Trump has fueled a media firestorm over the past several months, several Harvard students watching the debate Wednesday night said they were holding out for a more serious debate than the field has seen so far.
Perhaps the loudest and most unified response in the room was to Sanders’ declaration to Clinton that “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn email,” which elicited widespread laughter and applause from the crowd.
South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley is presented with a Harvard “letter sweater” by Harvard Foundation intern Nuha Saho ‘18 at the conclusion of the dinner event where she was invited to make remarks Thursday night. Haley spoke with pride about the idea of a “New South” that promoted racial and economic equality and defended the Republican Party from accusations of racism and intolerance.
Harvard Republican Club President Aaron I. Henricks '16, often describes the campus group as a "big tent," welcoming self-identified Republicans from the Tea Party to the center right.
"I’ve had instances in classes where perhaps for a paper I’ve written something other than I really feel, because I know that perhaps if I write what I really feel I may not get the best grade," said Cameron K. Khansarinia '18.
"When we’ve essentially said that one viewpoint is not acceptable to be spoken out for, I think that’s dangerous not only for the folks on [our] side but also the folks who disagree with us—I think being challenged helps you sharpen your viewpoints, it makes you smarter about things," said Kurt K Haeffner '18.
Isaac G. Inkeles '16 is a self described social conservative and notes that he often hesitates to share his initial opinions on social issues with more liberal students.
It is not easy being a conservative at Harvard, surrounded by a sea of blue and the tradition of a school once called the "Kremlin on the Charles." Fear of judgment and misinterpretation cause many conservative students to remain quiet on their political beliefs, or crawl into a closet with regard to their beliefs.
“I don’t know anyone who supports Trump in the Republican Club,” Harvard Republican Club president Aaron I. Henricks '16 said, “but they might be out there.”