May 3, 2008

Eleven students participating as delegates in state party conventions

You don’t need to be a political science major to realize there are major differences between the Minnesota Republican and DFL political parties. But one thing is clear – students from the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, and Saint John’s University, Collegeville, will meet those differences head-on at each state convention.

Five students from SJU are delegates to the Republican state convention May 29-31, and six students from CSB and SJU are delegates to the DFL state convention June 6-8. Both conventions are in Rochester.

The Republican state delegates are SJU students Chase Kroll (sophomore, history major, Orono, Minn.), Colman Silbernagel (junior, political science and history, Perham, Minn.), Kurt Sorensen (senior, mathematics, Burnsville, Minn.), Heath Stoll (junior, accounting, Apple Valley, Minn.) and Chris Van Guilder (senior, political science, Delano, Minn.). SJU student Ryan Lais (sophomore, management, St. Paul) is an alternate delegate to the convention.

“CSB and SJU students add vibrancy to the Republican community with their youthful enthusiasm,” Sorensen said. “Even at the end of the day, we are standing up and speaking before the convention to talk about what we believe in. It’s encouraging to see so many students involved in the process – it shows that this generation cares about the direction of our country and who’s in charge.”

The DFL state delegates are CSB students Ashleigh Leitch (senior, political science/pre-law, Willmar, Minn.) and Robyn Meyer (senior, political science and Spanish, St. Cloud, Minn.), and SJU students Nick Hansen (sophomore, environmental studies, Wyoming, Minn.), Michael Johnson (sophomore, political science/pre-law, Eagan, Minn.), Joe Kane (senior, political science, Golden Valley, Minn.) and Matt Steinrueck (junior, environmental studies, Minneapolis). CSB student Sarah Gaida (senior, political science and peace studies, Rice, Minn.), and SJU students Eric Loehr (first-year, music, St. Cloud) and Zachary Shaheen (senior, biochemistry/pre-med, Elk River, Minn.) are alternate delegates to the convention.

Leitch has also been selected to be an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention Aug. 25-28 in Denver.

“The importance of civic engagement at CSB and SJU has sparked a new interest and dialogue on campus and this is the end result: People are getting excited about the change and impact they have in making a society that reflects the Benedictine values of the common good, service, stewardship, hospitality, justice and respect for all individuals,” Kane said.