Students come together to form the Bipartisan Group of American University
The group aims to foster fruitful dialogue and create networking opportunities among the AU community
The Bipartisan Group of American University was founded this past fall semester with the goal of creating a community of students that respect one another, regardless of socio-political differences.
As freshmen, the group’s founders didn’t feel like there was a place on campus where students with opposing views could come together and talk without being socially ostracized, Jack Guidi, a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs and the vice president of the Bipartisan Group, said.
“We wanted to create an area where people could openly express their true opinions on an issue and … receive the opinions of their peers on the other side,” Guidi said.
Members first got the chance to introduce themselves at a Bipartisan Policy Center event on Feb. 6 where AU President Sylvia Burwell discussed the University’s Freedom of Expression and Expressive Conduct policy.
According to Adam Cardona, a junior in SPA and the treasurer of the group, it aims to foster fruitful dialogue between different sides of the political aisle and create opportunities for networking among students.
“This semester we’ve really focused on the networking part,” Cardona said. “Creating events where we can sit down together and just have a bite to eat, but also exchange contact information.”
This past semester, the group hosted a dinner where they invited students from “both the right and left side of the legal spectrum” for a political discussion and the chance to get to know each other, Guidi said.
Bamidele Idaomi, a sophomore in the Kogod School of Business and the president of the group, said that what sets the group apart from other bipartisan organizations on campus is their focus on student involvement.
“More of our mission is fostering those places where actually the students are the main event,” Idaomi said. “We focus more on students, and more about impacting them on their views and sharing those things with other students with different views.”
As for their campus-wide impact, the group said that they want to help foster collaboration, even between those with different views and beliefs.
“Everybody here wants to become a politician or diplomat or a government official of some sort,” Idaomi said. “But at the end of the day, 95 percent of the time you’re gonna have to work alongside people with different views.”
When it comes to their goals for the future, the group members hope to get students more engaged with the club and what they do.
“We’re definitely hoping to revamp, and really get more students engaged with the club who haven’t heard about us,” Cardona said. “That’s kind of what we hope to do in the future: reinforce the core tenants of the club and what we want to do here at American University.”
This article was edited by Maeve Fishel, Jordan Young and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis, Luna Jinks and Stella Guzik.