Michael DeVietro believes that his greatest challenge on campus as president of the Portland State College Republicans has nothing to do with the issues, but instead with the party’s stigma. “Every time people hear the word Republican, they think of George Bush and the Iraq War,” he said, “which is a big thing that is currently happening, but there are other issues to discuss.”
Michael DeVietro believes that his greatest challenge on campus as president of the Portland State College Republicans has nothing to do with the issues, but instead with the party’s stigma.
“Every time people hear the word Republican, they think of George Bush and the Iraq War,” he said, “which is a big thing that is currently happening, but there are other issues to discuss.”
DeVietro, a senior from Washington County who started advocating for Republican candidates in high school, went to work in Washington, D.C., during the 2006 election and has been a field representative for the Republican Party in Nevada and Oregon. He has recruited volunteers and helped build College Republican chapters at the University of Reno and the University of Las Vegas.
He became president of the PSU College Republicans at the beginning of fall term, he said, after the elected president dropped out for personal reasons and the group had to hold special elections to find a replacement.
“We have a very active group this year, which is a big plus for me,” DeVietro said.
Still, he said that when the group has a table outside for events or recruiting new members, most people pass them by.
“It’s been good for me. It gives me a perspective to why I believe what I believe,” DeVietro said. “It really makes me analyze my positions.”
DeVietro said being part of a group that has wide opposition on campus has made him more steadfast in his opinions and values.
“I am not going to lie. It is tough some days,” DeVietro said. “It has led me to become a stronger Republican.”
One of his personal highlights from being involved in the group, he said, is being a regular guest on the Victoria Taft Show, a conservative talk radio program, once every few weeks. His last appearance on the show included a discussion about the Iraq Body Count Exhibit that was in the Park Blocks a few weeks ago.
“I come on whenever there are issues that affect campus,” DeVietro said, “to see what college Republicans have to say about it.”
DeVietro takes a strong stance on many issues. He is involved in matters of campus security, a topic that has seen much discussion lately on college campuses, and said he believes that Campus Public Safety officers should be armed.
“I thought, of course, yeah, they should be armed,” DeVietro said about a recent campus safety forum he attended. He said he was one of the few at the forum who felt that way. “I couldn’t get past the inherent fear that was there.”
After Portland State, DeVietro, who currently works for a security company, plans to become a police officer.
“I am already involved in the long hiring process, and hopefully after I graduate in June, I will be sent to the police academy,” he said.
Although he sees a future for himself in law enforcement, he said he will always be active in politics.
“I expect to see my name on a ballot box for a statewide position,” DeVietro said.