The Wildrose Alliance Party has developed a considerable presence in Alberta politics. The party will now expand that presence to campus with the formation of a University of Calgary Wildrose Alliance campus club.
U of C students Kathryn Marshall and Jarrett Leinweber founded the club after creating a Facebook group that drew about 100 members, said club president James Jeffrey.
"I was really interested in the Wildrose Alliance and I knew a lot of other students were really interested in the movement," said Marshall. "There really wasn't a vehicle to get involved on campus, so that's why I left the [Campus Conservative] club to found this one."
About 30 people attended the club's first meeting, with some of the new membership coming from the U of C Campus Conservative Association, said Marshall.
"We've had two executive members leave [the Campus Conservative Association], myself and another girl," said Marshall. "Technically, you can be a member of both clubs."
Marshall said that although she was interested in organizing events with members of the Wildrose Alliance Party, this was difficult because of the Campus Conservative Association's affiliation with the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. The Wildrose Alliance club's first event will be a campus visit by Wildrose Alliance leader Danielle Smith March 29 at 4 p.m.
The club is trying to become an official SU club, which Jeffrey said he hopes will happen over the next couple of weeks.
"Because it is such a new party, there wasn't a youth wing, a lot of the local riding associations aren't up and running yet," said Marshall. "There aren't any other youth associations. This is the only one right now, so it's a way for youth to get involved."