Op-Ed, Reince Priebus

This spring, I received word that a group of students in Ohio decided to form a College Republican chapter on their campus. As chairman of the Republican National Committee, it was welcome news to hear that our Party continues to grow at institutions of higher learning across the country. Young people can be very effective messengers in their communities. So I was especially pleased to hear that this new College Republican chapter would launch on the campus of Central State University, a Historically Black University, in Ohio.

With the announcement of a new chapter at Central State, we are witnessing part of an exciting trend toward bi-partisanship on HBCU campuses across the country. Just earlier this school year, for example, Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, re-chartered their College Republican chapter. Now, CSU is following suit.

I encourage more young people to join the ranks of the Republican Party and become a part of this movement. Over the past five years, millennial’s support for the President has decreased while support for Republicans has increased.

While the media often likes to report that the Republican Party doesn’t traditionally do well with earning the support of young people and black voters, College Republican chapter launches at HBCU’s paint a different picture of the future.

The Republican Party is building support in places where Democrats and the current administration for years have offered a lot of talk but not much else; we’re listening and engaging with voters the other party has essentially taken for granted.

As Republicans we want all college students, including those from HBCU’s, to have every opportunity imaginable to chart their own course to success and enjoy the benefits of their hard work. We know young black entrepreneurs share our vision for getting the government out of the way of starting a business and expanding the freedom to work. The Republican Party encourages entrepreneurship and believes in entrepreneurs from the black community and from urban centers building up neighborhoods and creating jobs.

As we prioritize freedom and equal opportunity for all, it will mean less debt for our youth to pay off and more jobs for those entering the workforce. We create this prosperity by making government less expensive and less intrusive and by eliminating barriers to upward mobility. Republicans offer solutions that address these concerns.

Governor Kasich, in Ohio, expanded school choice by quadrupling the number of scholarships available to students who want to leave underperforming schools and attend quality ones. He has also made progress in driving down college tuition costs, making higher education more accessible and affordable. South Carolina Senator Tim Scott has also aimed his efforts at expanding educational opportunities and reforming workforce training programs. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has proposed creating economic freedom zones that would facilitate the creation of new jobs in economically distressed areas.

These policies and principles are not just about making government work for people but also about empowering individuals and communities.

There remains a lot of hard work ahead, but we are making gains and are proud of Central State’s new College Republican Chapter. The future leaders of our country are on campuses such as CSU and will have a profound impact on public policy for years to come.

They are part of our nation’s next generation of Republicans. With their successful launch, the CSU College Republicans are planting the seeds of freedom and opportunity. I look forward to watching them grow both their campus chapter and the Republican Party. As members and ambassadors of the GOP, these students will share our positive message and vision for the country from the halls of academia to a neighborhood near you.

Reince Priebus is chairman of the Republican National Committee. 

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