Last Saturday, the College Republicans and University Democrats came together for a service project at a local park. Although this is not the first time that the CRs and UDems have found common ground, this is the first event within recent memory whose primary purpose is non-political. The two groups cleaned up the park and trimmed some tree branches during their rare coming together.
Collaboration between the UDems and CRs, however, is not unprecedented. Just last week, after a visit from a group of Christian fundamentalists in the amphitheater, the two groups issued a joint statement condemning the fundamentalists’ hateful comments against the University community.
The UDems and CRs have also hosted a small political forum in 2012, and on April 25, 2014 they are sponsoring a philanthropic kickball event to raise money for wounded soldiers and the families of victims of the September 11th attacks.
Kat Bailey, president of the University Democrats, stated that she believes “bipartisan or nonpartisan activities are essential in order to find common ground between the parties,” and that “more bipartisan activities are necessary in order to combat the the extreme polarization that characterizes politics today.”
Outgoing Chairman of the College Republicans, Peter Finocchio, commented: “Our CRs and UDems are doing a great job to show the rest of the community that we can disagree on political issues, even passionately, but still come together as friends to do something we all believe is right. In my four years at UVA, I have always wanted us to have greater interaction with the UDems… and I think the future of bipartisanship between our two groups is very promising.”
The project took place at Azalea Park on Old Lynchburg Road in Charlottesville on Saturday afternoon, and mostly consisted of clearing around some of the trees that had been overrun with vines.
By Brandon Chattin, Staff Writer