At Mr. Trump’s alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, Grayson Sessa, the vice president of the school’s College Republicans, said he was dismayed by the nominee’s name-calling and hoped the party’s values could withstand him. “It’s not a great feeling,” he said.
At Yale, the chapter’s endorsement of Mr. Trump led to a mutiny, with departing members forming the Yale New Republicans and Yale Undergraduate Conservatives Against Trump. And at Harvard, alma mater of countless Republican leaders, the club’s president, Declan Garvey, 21, said that between Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton, “I would have to vote for Hillary.”
But Karis Lockhart, the chairwoman of the University of Central Florida chapter, whose parents met as College Republicans, said that those who could not bring themselves to vote for Mr. Trump were being overly sensitive.
She argued that Mr. Trump would bring in new voters who would help in other races on the ballot. “He’s dumbing it down for people who don’t want the numbers and statistics,” she said approvingly.
College Republicans are a bigger albeit subtler force on my campus than you’d think in fervently blue Miami-Dade County; this chapter and student government are practically synonymous. As baiting minorities looks less acceptable, this iteration of conservatism treasures low taxes and “responsibility” with a healthy dose of received anti-Clintonism, the latter of which they learned from parents if they’re Cuban. Gay marriage they’re cool with — a “non-issue” as they like to say. Sea level rise they avoid as a discussion point, especially on a campus which produces excellent research showing its effects. Student who attend a commuter school have it hard: they’re at war with the small-l-liberal education of the classroom and their parents’ attitudes.