FAU’s political clubs state their perspectives on Black Lives Matter protests

The presidents of Owls For All, College Democrats, and College Republicans all agree that there needs to be significant change in the United States when it comes to police brutality.


Illustration by Ethan Vogt.

Richard Pereira, Staff Writer

With protests ongoing in the cities of Portland, Chicago, and Miami, FAU political clubs like Owls For All, College Democrats, and College Republicans shared their opinions on the events and what needs to be done to have the issues be resolved.




Tyler Radenbaugh, president of Owls for All, states the club is extremely supportive of the protests as he thinks it’s a moral imperative that people go out and support Black Lives Matters during this time.


“Police brutality has always been horrible in the United States and we can’t continue to ignore it and it’s important that we stand with the people who are being oppressed or brutalized,” Radenbaugh said. “I can’t understand the black experience, but at least I can be empathetic and supportive of them.”


One of the things Radenbaugh wanted to see from the Black Lives Matter movement was to move toward specific policy goals like ending qualified immunity and defunding the police.


“It’s good that they’ve gotten specific and said ‘Hey, here are the things that we need’ because for it to be successful, they have to be targeted in terms of discussing what policies need to be reformed,” Radenbaugh said. “To me, defunding the police means a massive reduction in the amount of money going towards police and put towards things like education and mental health services. Those policies are extremely important and we’re completely supportive of those efforts.”


Even though Radenbaugh admits it’s difficult to encourage people to go out and protest due to the pandemic, he thinks the cause is just.


“We’ve encouraged people to get out and protest because the best way to support the movement is to get out there and be in the streets with people to show your solidarity with them,” Radenbaugh said. “I believe we should be supporting people who have been putting up with this for way too long.”


What Radenbaugh wants to see come out of the protests is for the policy demands to be extracted as the changes need to be seen in state and local governments for the protests to be successful.


“I don’t like how politicians are pretending that they support Black Lives Matter whether it’s through painting Black Lives Matter on a street or kneeling as that’s performative; there needs to be real change and that means a change of policy, ending qualified immunity, having real police reform, and holding cops accountable,” Radenbaugh said. “That’s what needs to happen in order for them to be successful.”


Club member Nicki Cominio said she wants to see actual change as she wants no more backdoor slaps on the wrists when it comes to punishing police officers.


“Prosecute police officers who murder Black men, women, and children to the fullest extent of the law and nothing less,” Cominio said.




Marisa Rosen, president for College Democrats, stated that the club is in support of the protests as they believe they’re a good way of allowing black voices to be elevated and heard when it comes to abolishing or defunding the police.


“We’re in agreement for defunding the police and reforming them because it’s gotten out of hand. They’ve gained a lot of power in this country, so I think the protests are doing good things,” Rosen said. “We’ve been reading up on history, educating ourselves in that way, and showing our support for the protests because we think it’s a good idea.”


Rosen believes the issues are all rooted in defunding the police because the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor all involved some form of police brutality and it shows the officers were too empowered in those situations and overstepped their boundaries.


“They abused their power to target people of color, specifically the black community, which I think is why it has evolved so much. I think that’s a good thing because it’s speaking to the entire black community that has been oppressed like this for years, so it’s good that it’s evolving into that as it’s all rooted in the police brutality against black people,” Rosen said.


Like Radenbaugh, Rosen shared similar sentiments when it came to defunding the police and allocating to other areas.


“There are many things that can come out of defunding the police and that does not mean completely stripping away their money and everything that the police have; it just means not overfunding them because they are over budget while other systems are under budget. That’s what I think needs to come out of it,” Rosen explained.




Cassidy Cosgrove, president for College Republicans, said that even though the club does not have an official stance on the protests, he is personally in favor of it.


“We didn’t speak about it that much as we’re still figuring out how to adjust to doing meetings with the coronavirus going on,” Cosgrove said.


Cosgrove believes that having more community policing, body cams, supervision, and breaking the code of silence within police forces would help.


“There is a problem with the code of silence for police officers like if they see a superior doing something wrong, there is a consensus that you don’t report it as I think it’s a huge problem in American police departments,” Cosgrove said.


Different perspectives need to be seen to understand the problems going on in America, according to Cosgrove. 


“Don’t be afraid to talk to people who have different views from you as it allows us to learn more about all these problems that are going on in this country right now,” Cosgrove said.


When it comes to the ongoing protests for Black Lives Matter, FAU’s political clubs are supportive of the protesters expressing their first amendment rights as they want to see changes be made in America.

Richard Pereira is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.