The newly-formed Harvard Students for Kerrey began actively seeking members this week to drum up support for Democratic presidential hopeful Bob Kerrey.
The group is the third campus organization to spring up in recent weeks to back presidential candidates, joining supporters of former Massachusetts Sen. Paul E. Tsongas and Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin.
Founder Victor W. Hwang '93 said he expects interest in the group to "explode" after the Nebraska senator's speech last night at the Kennedy School of Government. [See related story.]
"We've just started up very recently," Hwang said. "But it seems like we do have some definite interest."
Hwang said about 12 students so far have expressed interest in becoming members.
Current members distributed leaflets and recruited outside the Kennedy School both before and after last night's speech.
Representatives of the group also cheered, clapped and corralled passers-by outside a speech Kerrey made at Faneuil Hall on Wednesday.
"For a campaign less than two weeks old, the response was tremendous," member Gordon N. Lederman '93 said in a press release. "As his ideas spread around, we're expecting an outpouring of student support for his campaign."
Harvard Students for Kerrey members cite the candidate's strong position on domestic affairs as one of his main strengths.
"Kerrey is the best candidate to reach voters who haven't been voting Democratic in recent elections," member Matthew J. Strong '95 said. "He's definitely the most solid, especially on the domestic issues."
"Like a lot of young voters, I feel really inspired by what he's trying to get across and by his strong sense of integrity," Hwang said. "The [current] president isn't addressing health care or motherhood or environmental issues."
Several members of the group said they first heard of the organization at the general Harvard-Radcliffe College Democrats meeting earlier this week.
Although the Harvard-Radcliffe College Democrats do not concentrate support on any individual candidate, Hwang said he expects that they will serve as a unifying force for his group.
"We're serving as a clearing house for students who want to get involved with the groups supporting individual candidates," said Jol Silversmith '94, issues director for the group.
The group's next step will be an introductory meeting of its own next week, Hwang said