Multi-party group forms at Western


Erika Ward

 Starting in the Spring 2016 semester, Western Illinois University will have a bipartisan organization called No Labels on campus to assist students in choosing future government officials based on specific values.

 “The main idea of No Labels is to support a ‘problem solver’ president and government,” said Courtney Dalton, president of No Labels. “That means that no matter what party you are affiliated with or what party a presidential candidate, government official, congress member, etc., is a member of, they are fixing the main problems that we see important.”

 Dalton said that No Labels is focusing on four main issues: job growth, securing Social Security and Medicaid, balancing the federal budget and creating an energy-secure United States.

 The idea for this organization was brought up before this semester and before Dalton took the position as president.

 “There was a representative from Washington D.C. that reached out to Justin Washington last year,” Dalton said. “Because Justin is a senior, he let me know this year that he thought I would make a great president for the chapter here at Western and passed it on to me.

 “I feel very strongly about politics and educated college students about the issues in our government and world, no matter what party one affiliates his or herself with, so it’s a great fit for me,” Dalton finished.

 Dalton said that the organization has already been approved by Western and is currently waiting for its advisor to complete the registration.

“(Our) future plans include getting more members to sign up, trying to establish a voice at Western, possibly starting a talk show on our student radio, having regular meetings regarding politics and having political figures come speak at those meetings,” Dalton said. “I plan to get as involved as possible and be able to travel to (Washington) D.C. when available to learn more about the group and to give back to the community and become as politically active as possible.”

Dalton said that this organization is being created, in part, because people have issues getting past the two big party names: Democrat and Republican.

“No Labels is really just looking for a candidate that is working for the people and the problems we face, not the party’s agenda or his or her own personal agenda,” Dalton said. “We want to unite Congress and reduce gridlock and get issues resolved — not just bicker back and forth regarding partisan issues.”

Dalton said that her main goal with No Labels is to get more people to vote.

“If our age group voted, it would make a tremendous difference in this upcoming election,” Dalton said. “The reason our issues are not of concern to politicians is because we do not vote. The reason our voices are not heard is because we do not voice them or vote.

“If we were more educated on the issues and took a stance to solve them, those issues would have a much better chance at being resolved. I want college students and even those in the community to realize that we can make a difference.”

Dalton recommended that students who are interested in joining No Labels email for more information.

“(There is) no requirement besides being a student,” Dalton said. “We welcome all with open arms. Our name is No Labels — and we mean it. Nobody is discriminated against and I encourage everyone to join.”