Let Us Introduce You- Eric Behna: President of SLU College Democrats

John Schuler/Photo Editor

John Schuler/Photo Editor

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As president of Saint Louis University College Democrats, Eric Behna has inherited many responsibilities since he joined the group his freshman year.

John Schuler/Photo Editor

Behna served as vice president last year, and holds the position of president as a junior. Saint Louis University College Democrats meets each Tuesday, coordinating events, and uphold what Behna summarizes as the organization’s purpose.

“Our two primary goals are to make our campus more politically aware and informed, and secondly to be a democratic organization, discussing different candidates and policies,” Behna said.

One of their top priorities this election season was voter registration. Members of the group approached Metrolink and Metrobus stops and knocked on doors throughout the city of St. Louis to encourage voter registration.

“We focused primarily out in the communities of St. Louis to encourage those who may not have been approached to vote,” Behna said.

Though groups express their opinions, there are some limitations among both College Democrats and College Republicans.

“If we want a big speaker to come to campus, though one group might find it helpful, it may be considered controversial,” Behna said.

While some restrictions are placed on organizations from endorsing candidates, the group has many other purposes and opportunities that Behna puts to use.

“In the past, we, along with the College Republicans, have done charity events. We plan on doing even more this year and possibly a game of dodge ball, Republicans versus Democrats,” Behna said.

The two groups have often collaborated on events in spite of their differences.

Behna said while there is disagreement, there is always good discussion between the two parties.

“It’s nice to have a discussion or do an event with someone who’s equally passionate, even if we don’t share some of the same ideas,” he said. “We’re very welcoming, open to having a good debate and have a strong commitment to the community around us.”

Outside of the organization, Behna participates in building houses for Habitat for Humanity. He also holds a position on the SLU club rowing team, from which he has taken a semester off to focus primarily on the election season. Additionally, he is currently interning on a campaign.

Behna, a leader in many different ways, attributes his inspiration to his past.

“I had a very different experience growing up than others around me. Important people in my life lost their jobs, and so I grew up finding my own opinions and values. And it kind of pushed me toward becoming more politically active,” Behna said.

He hopes to attend law school or graduate school or to become involved in Teach for America.

“After I graduate, I want my career to involve helping people and contributing actively to social change,” Behna said.