Campus & Community

Interview: Senior Vince Szilagyi on College Republicans

“(Politics is) just a natural extension of how humans interact with one another, so it’s always been something I found fascinating,” says Vince Szilagyi. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

In April, senior history, geography and political science major Vince Szilagyi was elected state chair of the Colorado Federation of College Republicans.


Q: What is College Republicans?

A: Basically, College Republicans is the youth organization for the Republican Party as a whole. We’re unaffiliated with the party officially—we’re a nonprofit group and we have our own headquarters, the College Republican National Committee in Washington, D.C. Each state has its own federation, and within each state, each individual college has its own chapter.


Q: What do you do in your role as state chairman for the Colorado Federation?

A: I represent the state on the national level, and I’m in charge of coordinating statewide activities. As far as activities, it’s an election year, so it’s going to be very different. We’re essentially going to be subsumed by larger party organizations and be the youth or labor wing of the party—doing volunteering, voter registration drives and the like. We serve mostly as a support network for conservative students on college campuses.


Q: Has politics always interested you?

A: Not so much on a personal level, like I’m looking to run for office or anything like that, but it’s always been something that’s been fascinating to me because really everything else relates to politics in one way or another. It’s just a natural extension of how humans interact with one another, so it’s always been something I found fascinating.


Q: Why did you gravitate toward the Republican Party?

A: I’ve always been pretty conservative. My parents are not very politically involved, and more than giving me any particular ideology, they always told me that I should be able to reason and to argue why I believe what I believe, not just accept what other people say. As a student of history, I’ve seen what happens in the excesses of conservatism and the excesses of liberalism, and I personally believe that conservatism is a better way forward.


Q: There’s a stereotype that all college campuses are liberal. Do you feel you’re working against the mainstream here at DU?

A: Ironically, College Republicans have far more success on liberal campuses than they do on conservative campuses. When you’re surrounded by more conservative ideals, you’re less likely to stand up and defend yourself. If you are used to being one of two conservative kids in the class and you’re trying to offer a conservative viewpoint, you tend to get more passionate and you tend to get more practiced.

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