A New Tradition for the College Democrats

Courtesy of Marie Erikson

By Katie Hoban

What has been described by many members of the College Democrats as “the most incredible extravaganza of your time at Catholic University,” this political student organization certainly was able to garner student interest.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the day was full of activities. Sprawled across the Basilica Lawn were activities such as “Pie-A-Democrat,” where a student could pie his or her favorite (or least favorite) Democrat in the face for $5, or 3 pies for $12. Prominent members of the organization such as President Marie Erickson, Events Coordinator Thomas Gambino, and Freshman Representative Sophia Marsden were among the list of members pied in the face.

A photobooth was stationed at the event so that participants could take a photo with friends to remember this fun-filled day. Carnival games like cornhole were a big hit for people passing by and, of course, one can not forget the free Rita’s Italian Ice. The two flavors, cotton candy and mango, were so popular among participants that it was distributed before it had a chance to melt.

What would donkey day be without a live Donkey? Yes, the College Democrats brought their mascot onto campus. The event featured a live donkey named Jackal who’s owner, Cowboy Berry, let students pet and ride Jackal. Jackal was a hit, attracting a majority of the participants for Donkey Day.

“We wanted a way to give back to the community and campus, and just have a really fun day.” said Regina Brennan, an member of the College Democrats executive board. “That’s really what the essence of it was.”

College Democrats opened this event to students and staff from all different political backgrounds and beliefs, engaging the campus community by fostering community.

“I heard all the noise and it sounded really fun,” said Emma Wilenta, a member of Catholic University’s College Republicans. “I wanted to support this event, there are no hard feelings between our clubs and it’s just a fun thing to do and to come make friends.”

Setting this event into motion did not happen overnight.It took almost two years to get the event approved, having to get Catholic University’s approval for a live donkey to be on school grounds.  

“We first called Cowboy Berry and Jackal the donkey about twenty two months ago,” said Marie Erikson, president of the College Democrats. “I had this idea to bring the donkey to campus to show the CUA community the presence we really have here and bring about the College Dems in the community in a really fun and visible way.This is something I have wanted to make happen since freshman year, and I am so grateful for everyone in Dems pitching in to make it happen.”

Donkey Day was also used as the grand reveal of the new College Democrats logo which was created by Executive Board Political Coordinator Alan Cunningham.

“The old design was so tired and ugly that we needed a new logo,” said Alan. “I made the design a lot more simplistic for a more sleek look. I wanted to combine the visuals of both CUA and the Democratic Party and it is a game changer. It’s my hope that new logo is a step in getting College Dems to be further recognized on and off campus.”

With over one hundred participants, the College Democrats would view this event as a success in promoting the club’s publicity to the campus community. With the club growing three times the size in members, the College Democrats are continually expanding their presence across the Catholic University campus.

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