• Hannah Phillips

Spotted: Democrats and Republicans Eating Together, What Will Happen Next?

When the word “bipartisan” comes up in conversation today, you can see that people's faces begin to tighten and everyone becomes lost for words – well, that was the expression we were hoping for when the College Republicans and College Democrats announced the first ever Bipartisan Ball at Jacksonville State University in 2018.  The chapters’ chairmen came up with the unique event to show their campus that just because the two parties do not see eye-to-eye, it does not mean they can't gather in peace and unity for a night, hear wonderful speakers, eat delicious food, dance to live music, and just have fun. The Bipartisan Ball creates an atmosphere for students to learn and engage in conversation from both sides of the political spectrum with little controversy. 

This event shows that Jacksonville State University is filled with forward thinking students that value the meaning of unity even in times of division. It also shows that the university itself is willing to work with both parties, supporting their students in all areas and beliefs.  Both the College Democrats and College Republicans work in a joint effort to make this event bigger and better each year. It takes time, effort, and a lot of phone calls to make it exactly what we want it. Each year, we are hit with “No” and “I’ll let you know” countless times, but, in the end, we came out with more yeses than anything. This year, we hosted the House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter and the House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, who both delivered wonderful messages about unity and stayed to enjoy their catered meals and a few drinks at the complimentary beer and wine bar. Without our sponsors, none of that would have been able to happen.  

The best part of last year’s ball was that it wasn’t restricted to just JSU students. It was made available to anyone who wanted to attend. We had students, professors, and post-grads from all over the state come to our ball. We learned a lot this year from planning the event, and we hope to make it even better next year. I, and all the other students who were involved in the planning, united with others on the opposite end of the political spectrum and by doing so, we experienced true bipartisanship. I am so grateful to have been involved with the school and state’s historical event for the past two years, and I am so ready to see what next year holds. Look out 2020, bipartisanship is on its way again... At least for a night anyway!

JSU College Republicans President,

Hannah Phillips

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