With a rallying cry of "One Year to Victory!" the fourth annual Maine College Democrats Convention will be held this Saturday at Bowdoin.

Maine College Democrats President Henry Beck, a member of the Colby College Class of 2009 and City Councilor of Ward 2 for Waterville, Maine, called the convention an opportunity "to train and organize college democrats from all over Maine to help elect a new President, U.S. Senator, and win important local races in 2008."

Clark Gascoigne '08, co-president of the Bowdoin College Democrats, said that some 100 Maine college students, and members of the greater community are expected to attend the convention.

According to Gascoigne, the event's biggest attractions are back-to-back speeches to be given by current Maine congressmen Tom Allen '67 and Mike Michaud. Rep. Allen, a representative for Maine's first district, will speak about his candidacy for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2008. Allen is running against Republican incumbent Susan Collins.

Congressman Michaud will follow Allen, who Gascoigne anticipates will speak about "his work in Congress and the ... crucial role that college democrats will have in the 2008 elections."

Before the Congressmen's speeches there will be workshops for attendees on various ways to improve their campaign skills and a debate between the five democratic candidates for Allen's First Congressional District position.

A few weeks ago, the Bowdoin College Democrats set up at a table at the entrance of Moulton Union Dining Hall where they encouraged students to register to vote in the state of Maine. Though students may be registered to vote in their home states and can vote there through absentee ballots, Gascoigne stressed that "Bowdoin is our home for nine months out of the year, [so our] ability to vote here [in Brunswick] is important."

Beck echoed that sentiment, noting that "Maine college students can vote in Maine elections and are already members of communities like Brunswick in many ways."

The Maine College Democrats are a group led by an executive board comprised of students from colleges across the state.

The organization works to provide support to and communication between the individual student democrat chapters throughout Maine and to connect the groups to the national College Democrats of America.

Beck pointed out that this year, the Maine College Democrats "have raised over $10,000 from donors across the country who recognize the crucial role Maine College Democrats can play in the most important election of our lifetime."

In addition to playing host to the Maine College Democrats Convention, the Bowdoin Democrats have been a source of key personnel for their national affiliate. Gascoigne is one of three Bowdoin Democrats selected last summer to serve as national officers of the College Democrats of America. He serves as the group's national news media director, while Frank Chi '07 was appointed national communications director and Alex Cornell du Houx '06 was elected national council chair.