The Counter-Counterculture

Ah, to be young and Republican at Cal

Eventually, someone tosses out the name of a sophomore, a dedicated California Patriot staff member.

"Now I know why he doesn't do Patriot distribution anymore," Kolin says. "Because somebody hit him one time."

The group gasps.

Amaury Gallais is a board member of the Berkeley 
College Republicans and managing editor of the club's 
magazine, the California Patriot.
James Sanders
Amaury Gallais is a board member of the Berkeley College Republicans and managing editor of the club's magazine, the California Patriot.
It's hard to be young and Republican at UC Berkeley, 
say Andrea Irvin, Ashley Rudmann, and Jen Kolin, but 
Adam Borelli of the California Young Democrats (far 
right) says the Berkeley College Republicans 
overdramatize their plight.
James Sanders
It's hard to be young and Republican at UC Berkeley, say Andrea Irvin, Ashley Rudmann, and Jen Kolin, but Adam Borelli of the California Young Democrats (far right) says the Berkeley College Republicans overdramatize their plight.

Kolin rises from the coach to re-enact the incident, charging aggressively toward Rudmann and pretending to shove an imaginary person. "He rammed right into him," she says.

This comment unleashes a flood of Patriot distribution war stories.

"I love how guys who are really bigger than you, and you're a girl and you're passing out the Patriot, and they somehow slam you, and you're like, 'Wow, that was mature,'" Rudmann says.

"It happened to me," Irvin reveals. "There was this guy with a bike, and he was walking with his bike but his elbows were out, and he ran into my back, and I had to take a step to keep my balance, and then I looked at him, and he kinda smirked at me and walked on, and I was like, 'Jerk.'"

"If we were as bad as the liberal groups at this school, then we'd go into [student body] senate chambers and say, 'The hate on this campus must stop because our members get hit and we're just standing there!'" Rudmann says in a mocking tone. "'Cause that's what they do."

The meeting has become something of a throwback to 1999, when the club was primarily a forum for bitching about Berkeley. Except that these members are no longer "impotent," but emboldened: They know they have a sizable, undaunted club to back them up.

Gallais smiles wryly at the stories of confrontation and feigns a horrified look. "'Oh, no,'" he says, "'the Republicans!'"

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