State Senator Hosts College Republican Club

Drew Kaplan ’20, Associate Opinion Editor

College Republicans are hoping to create an annual trip to the Capitol after members visited State Senate Majority Whip John Gordner ’83 in Harrisburg.

The club travelled to Harrisburg to meet the politician for a tour of the capitol on Monday,Sept. 25. Gordner led the group on a tour and explained the history and significance of the building and the artwork inside. The politician also told students about the daily workings of the state senate, and about his time as a Dickinson student. He also introduced students to both Democratic and Republican legislators along with Dickinson alumni Jake Geary ’17 and Stephanie Applegate ’17, who both work at the Capitol.

After the tour, the senator took the students for dinner.

“When you eat dinner right by the capitol, there’s politicians all over the street, so that was kind of cool to meet some more people that we didn’t get to meet in the capitol,” said President of the College Republicans Grant Shearer ’19.

The College Republicans attempt to make the trip every year however, Shearer stated that since the trip fell through last year, many members who went this year had not gone previously. “Mitch[ell Snyder ’19], [Maureen Moroz ’19], and myself are the only ones who have gone before. We had five or six freshmen [go], which we thought was a good experience for them. Senator Gordner is a good host. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it. We hope to keep it a tradition because we find that it’s a good way to start the year doing something kind of fun.”

Students were especially awed by the Capitol building itself. Jackie Joyce ’19 said, “The history engrained into the architecture and the overall beauty of the place made me proud to be a Pennsylvania resident.”

Shearer added, “The building is phenomenal, one of the nicest, probably is the nicest state capitol building in the United States. You can tour it a hundred times and it’s still going to be an interesting experience. One other things I thought was really cool about our Capitol tour was in the supreme court chambers; they still have the ten commandments written on the wall, so it’s nice to see that in a government building still.”

Cole Gordner ’18, son of State Senator Gordner, also stated that “Pennsylvania has one of the nicest Capitols. We are one of three I believe, in the country, who even has a preservation committee. It’s a really, really beautiful Capitol.”

Shearer also maintained; “I would say one of my takeaways from it that I get every year is just the scale of state politics.  You know, we think national, we think congress and all those people, but there are so many people in each state who are working, there are so many intricacies to the job.”

Maureen Moroz ’19 said, “This trip reinforced for me how working with individuals of different beliefs or party affiliations is imperative to the success of anything in politics. Essentially, everyone has the same goal of our nation succeeding fiscally and socially, and by working together rather than against one another so much more can be accomplished.”

State Senator Gordner represents the Senate District 27, comprised of Columbia, Montour, Synder and part of Luzerne counties. The senator, who is also chair of the Capitol Preservation Committee, met the 12 – 15 students at the Capitol building and took them to his office.