U student casts a vote at Republican convention

The student stood in once for a Republican National Convention delegate.

Kari Petrie

Between voting for a presidential candidate and hob-knobbing with Triumph the Comic Insult Dog, University student Missy Graner said she had a full week at the Republican National Convention.

The political science and economics junior served as an alternate delegate at the convention, which was held Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 in New York.

“It was just amazing,” Graner said. “I had never been to a convention before; I had never been to New York before.”

As an alternate, Graner said, she spent most of her time watching the convention from the stands. But she said she got to step in for one delegate who had to miss the vote to nominate President George W. Bush for re-election.

“It was really neat,” Graner said.

Tony Richter, vice chairman of the University’s College Republicans, said more students are becoming involved in the Republican Party.

The party offers new, positive ideas and solutions to current problems, and students are drawn to that, Richter said.

“I think the Democratic Party is running out of ideas and they’re just kind of running on hate and bad feelings,” he said.

Graner said it’s important to get involved with politics at a young age, so parties address issues important to students.

Many young people at the convention served as delegates or volunteers, she said.

A favorite moment for Graner was when she went on a night cruise to see the Statue of Liberty, she said.

“It was just so beautiful,” she said. “Just seeing the Statue of Liberty standing up there illuminated, it was just really inspiring.”

Graner also said she enjoyed being with a crowd that shared her beliefs. She said she found it refreshing that fellow delegates were respectful, even if they didn’t agree with her.

“Sometimes I come into contact with people (at the University) with different views and they’re really not nice,” Graner said.

Security was tight at the convention, she said. Dump trucks were stationed in front of buildings and police were stationed at every corner around the convention.

“I felt really safe there,” Graner said.