Politically active students on both sides of the aisle gathered in the Marvin Center Thursday to celebrate.
GW College Democrats reveled in their accomplishments during the 2008 election with an address by a Virginia gubernatorial candidate, while the College Republicans gathered at the same time to say farewell to President George W. Bush.
CD President Cory Struble congratulated a group of nearly three dozen for their efforts on the campaign trail.
“We poured our labor, time and emotions for over a year and saw the results,” Struble said. “The campaign may be over but the movement for change has only just begun.”
Struble said the group will now lobby Congress for college affordability, marriage equality and campus sustainability in the first hundred days of the Obama administration.
Virginia State Representative Brian Moran, who is currently running for Governor of Virginia, discussed these issues and emphasized the importance of youth involvement in the political process. He will face former chairman of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, Terry McAuliffe and state Senator Creigh Deeds in the primary on June 9, 2009.
“We are going to need all hands on deck and a similar energetic campaign such that Barack Obama ran,” Moran said. “We’re trying to get as many young people involved in the campaign as possible. It’s the next generation that has more at stake, and we need to engage young people.”
Moran cited his record on gay marriage and energy as well as his past accomplishments in the Virginia state legislature.
He stressed the importance of reaching out to the other party, saying some Republicans “you don’t want a relationship with,” but at the end of the day common ground must be found.
At roughly the same time, 35 students across the hall watched President Bush deliver his final address to the nation on Fox News.
“It’s a very reflective mood. It’s hard to imagine a lot of us grew up with this president,” CRs Communications Director Brandon Hines said.
Hines said the event was a chance to get everyone together since it is the last event they will have with Bush as president.
“It’s a group of people who watched the last eight years and believed in the president,” College Republicans Political Director James Barnes said. “We’re remembering why we supported him and his policies.”
Junior Eshawn Rawlley, a member of the CDs, expressed regret that his organization held their event on the same night.
“While I’m thrilled we’re having our back to school dinner, I think it would have been nice to do something for our presidents’ last speech, out of respect,” Rawlley said.