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ORU College Republican’s “Build The Wall” poster stirs up controversy on campus

Photos by Gabriel Jaggernauth

On Jan. 15, the Hammer Center and was filled with conversation and creative displays from ORU’s student clubs during the annual Spring Club Rush. But one club in particular seemed to have everyone talking.

Right up front was the ORU College Republican booth sporting a large poster board with the words “Build the Wall” across the top. Underneath these words were red and brown colored notecards that represented bricks. These bricks were for students to sign their names to signify that they had visited the booth regardless of being for or against the “border wall.”

ORU College Republicans wanted to present their view on the issue but also gauge the views of others.

“We really wanted to engage with the student body and base that around the hot topic issue,” said Brendon Martin, the club’s president.

While the ORU College Republicans were able to rack up some names on their wall, they also seemed to rack up just as much dissent.

Martin says that most of the controversy seemed to come from ORU alumni on social media but that the ORU College Republicans are happy for the social media attention. Their main purpose was to get people talking about the issue.

Vice President of the College of Democrats Kahleah Brown disagreed with the club’s gesture.

“Since we come from such a diverse campus with a lot of different cultures represented, to have something as divisive as a wall as your booth, it doesn’t really promote anything positive,” said Brown.

Although Brown disagrees with the representation of the wall, she agrees that it has gotten students more engaged in the current political discussion.

“We’re glad that people on campus are starting to think outside of the ORU bubble and realize that there is a world outside of the prayer tower,” Brown said.

The ORU College Republicans set up a mock poll with two jars, one labeled “Wall” and one labeled “No Wall.” Students were asked to fill the jar matching their opinion with either red, white or blue glitter. By the end of the night, the “Wall” jar won with slightly more glitter than the other.

President of the College of Democrats Thuy Newborne said that the mock poll was a good way to engage students but that in light of the lengthy government shutdown and how it has affected some students, having students sign their names on the poster was “a bit much.”

“Everyone coming from the other side was very polite and it was more of an exchange of ideas rather than ‘I’m right and you’re wrong,” said Martin.

With all of the discussion going on around the wall, the ORU College Republicans and College of Democrats have decided to hold a joint, town-hall style meeting to discuss the current political sphere of our nation.

Newborne says that they hope to discuss issues that students are concerned with while still maintaining a respectful atmosphere.

“Of course there are two different sides, but overall, we still want to encourage the student body to understand that regardless of the whole politics thing, we are Christians,” said Newborne.

Martin said that with the current tension in the nation, the most important things are unity and compromise, and that each side sees both Democrats and Republicans ultimately working to benefit the American people.

Despite the controversy surrounding their booth, ORU College Republicans was voted third place for best booth by ORU’s Student Association. Regardless of the debate, one thing is for sure, the ORU College Republicans’ goal was to get people talking, and that they did.