Cleveland to advocate for republican internships

Cleveland to advocate for republican internships

Layton Dudley

Junior Michael Cleveland, a political science major, is the current president of The University of Alabama College Republicans. CW | Layton Dudley

Arielle Lipan

Michael Cleveland, a junior majoring in political science, is the current president of The University of Alabama College Republicans. Cleveland is from Oneonta, Alabama and has been involved with the College Republicans since his freshman year.

Q: What motivated you to first become involved with the College Republicans?

A: I was working on a campaign in Birmingham and there was a group of College Republicans who helped knock on doors. I knew they did a lot with campus involvement and were a big grassroots organization, so that really inspired me to find out more about them. 

Q: What legacy would you like to leave behind from your presidency?

A: I would like to grow the membership. We’re already growing, but I would like to be able to meet in the biggest room Alabama has to offer. Right now we are meeting in Bidgood and have about 20 members who come to every meeting, but at the end I would like to have a scholarship fund for these College Republicans. Another thing I’m currently working on is getting two internship spots for College Republicans in every senator and congressman’s office in the South. Our members could apply and go through the interview process and have secured internship spots at those offices in D.C. I’m actually flying to D.C. in two weeks to talk with some local congressmen about that. 

Q: How would you describe what it means to be a Republican in three words?

A: I can do it in four if you count the “the,” but, “Caring about the future.” 

Q: Have you dreamed of pursuing leadership positions in national politics?

A: I would like to go to law school after college, and after law school I would love to run for the state senate seat in my district. 

Q: What do you think is the biggest problem facing your graduating class?

A: The taxes. It’s killing the private sector and that’s where all the jobs are. Right now 53 percent of graduating seniors are underemployed or unemployed, and that’s pitiful. We go to school, we spend all of our money, we have tons of debt built up when we get out, and then there are no jobs because the private sector is where most of the jobs are. These new taxes tax the people who own the businesses so much they can’t afford to hire any new employees, and the owners even have to lay people off. 

Q: Where do you see yourself in two years?

A: Hopefully at Cumberland Law School at Samford in Birmingham.  

Q: What is your favorite memory with the College Republicans?

A:  My favorite memory would have to be the Lincoln Reagan dinner in Tuscaloosa. It was when I was getting ready to run for chairman. I got to speak with Governor Bentley and talk to him about my plans. He told me he was proud of me, and any way he could help out he would be more than happy to. Knowing that I had that support was pretty cool.

Q: Do you think you’re going to stay in the South after your time at the University? If not, where do you want to go?

A: I would like to live in the South. I grew up in a very small town in central Alabama, just north of Birmingham, and growing up I hated it. I mean, it was a small town where everybody knew everybody, but now, looking back after getting out of that small town and going to different places like D.C., I know my heart will always be in the South, and that’s where I’d like to raise my family.