Oakland University Republicans, current students and alumni alike, have had an eventful time preparing for the Republican presidential debate.
Robert Schostak, chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, is an OU alumnus and longtime donor.
Earlier today, he called the school the state’s “best-kept secret” and was excited to “showcase the university in Oakland County to the country.”
He said he’s pleased with what everyone at the university has done to contribute to making the debate a success.
“I’m proud of what they’ve done for us … and what we’re going to show the world,” Schostak said.
OU’s College Republicans chapter held a reception prior to the debate in the Oakland Center. The event drew a large crowd of about 50 and attracted many elected officials, including former Republican U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra.
Brianna Budny, a senior communication major, attended the event because she wanted to get involved with as many debate-related events as possible.
She said she began her affiliation with the Republican Party after her parents encouraged her to become politically active.
“I was homeschooled, so the way I learned about government was to participate in it,” said Budny, who has participated in numerous campaigns.
She said the opportunity for OU to host the debate was important to her not only because of her political views, but because it was “exciting for OU.”
OU Republicans President Josh Cline said the event has energized his organization and hopes it helps build a stronger base for GOP activities at Oakland.
Cline graduated with degrees in nursing and political science, but stayed on with OU Republicans to help with the major event.
“My goal for (the reception) was to give students a chance to mingle with elected officials,’ Cline said.
Former Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop was among those in attendance. Cline said the response he received from queries sent to state and local Republican power players.