Upon hearing the words Republican and Conservative, many may closely associate the two terms with each other. However, they both hold distinctively different meanings.

Republicans are members of a particular political party, while conservatives are proponents of social Conservatism or fiscal Conservatism. For years, the Young Republicans and Young Democrats were the only partisan political clubs for prospective members to join.

But recently, sophomore Christi Smuddee created the Young Conservatives club in order to establish a new perspective in the school.

“It seemed like a good time to have a conservative viewpoint because the election just happened and it seems like politics is really big in this school, so I started this club,” Smuddee said.

The club plans to educate others about this ideology and the differences between the Republican party and Conservatism.

“Conservatism is about values and its not party based like republicanism, which has a platform,” Smuddee said. “It’s about what you believe.”

Club meetings start with a video on a conservatist topic, and then officers proceed to discuss it with other members.

In addition to the creation of the Young Conservatives club, the Young Republicans club revitalized their activity.

“It seemed like the Young Conservatives club was more of a lifestyle club rather than a group of conservative activists, and we wanted to be more involved in the Republican Party so we revitalized the Young Republicans,” junior Ethan Hsu said. “Some people might want to be less political about their beliefs and we’re okay with that.”

The club has also created a whole new board, and planned new events for the year.

“Seniors have been busy with college applications and there really weren’t enough meetings going on,” junior Chris Margiotta said. “We decided to take over the club board to get things going again.”

For now, the Young Republicans do not have any plans with the Young Conservatives. However, they are open to discussion and potential collaboration in the future.

Young Republicans differs from the Young Conservatives in that they focus on the importance of the Republican party as well as on discussing government specific issues such as policies, congress votes or elections.

Although both clubs vary slightly in terms of their beliefs, the two have similar activities planned for the future. Both clubs are planning debates with other political clubs, such as the Young Democrats club. In addition, both are planning events for guest speakers and field trips to the nation’s capitol.

While they differ in their base, both have similar intentions to integrate with the school community.

“We want to create an interfaith of politics because it’s important to be informed of what’s going on in our country,” Hsu said. “I think that regardless of party lines we should get more people involved.”

Likewise, Smudde hopes for her new club to continue to grow, and for others to continue learning about this ideology.

“I really want people to learn about how Conservatism isn’t the same thing as Republicanism,” Smudde said. “I’m just hoping to have a new perspective at this school.”

Regardless of their differences, both clubs will expand as the year goes on and potentially hold a joint event to generate more interest.

haley republican
Junior and executive board member Haley Tonizzo speaks to the audience at a recent Young Republicans meeting. Tonizzo is an active advocate for Republican issues, and plans to spearhead events for the club moving forward.


Junior and executive board member Christopher Margiotta answers a question from a club member. “Seniors have been busy with college apps [ … ] so we took it over. If we start younger, we can make sure the board lasts, first we want to appoint younger people to make sure that the club can move along,” Margiotta said. The Young Republicans recently restarted, as they had not been active previously in the school year