Students volunteer with local, national campaigns
Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 21:11
Even with all the time demands of campaigning, students like senior Jake Weil say they commit because they truly believe in their candidate’s ability to make effective change.
Weil has spent this election season knocking on doors and making political phone calls on behalf of Bryan Townsend as part of his regular schedule. Weil, who manages the campaign for Townsend, the Democratic nominee for the 11th Senate District, had to schedule time for campaigning in between classes and the other responsibilities associated with being a full-time student.
“We have other obligations,” Weil says. “Being a student is a full obligation. It’s a lot to balance. A local race like this is a lot easier than a state race. The challenges are the same though just balancing all these different aspect of life.”
Junior Chelsey Rodowicz, who has been interning for the campaign team to re-elect Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), says the benefits of campaigning outweigh the demands.
“It has been hard to balance with a lot of other things […] even if I sacrificed some for the campaign over my schoolwork, it was definitely worth it,” Rodowicz says.
Rodowicz also says there are benefits to working with university alumni on the campaign trail. Rodowicz works under alumnus John Collins, who serves as Carper’s campaign manager and worked for him during his last term in office.
Rodowicz says this connection made working on the campaign less stressful and while she enjoys her current position, she remains uncertain as to whether or not she will have the same opportunities to become involved in a future campaign.
“I probably won’t be a main intern on a campaign again because this is a once in a lifetime experience,” says Rodowicz. “But I will definitely volunteer again.”
Junior Erin Burns has been campaigning for the Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan, and also says that she is unsure if she would pursue a political career.
Burns, who primarily campaigned by knocking on doors and making phone calls, says that while she learned a lot from her campaign experience, political careers are often unstable because there is no promise the candidate will be elected.
“I enjoy the volunteering, but it’s a relatively uncertain career path because you have a job for so many months, but after that there is no guarantee,” Burns says.
Although there is no promise of a future career, students like Burns and junior Elizabeth Catt say they find value in and gain knowledge though volunteer campaign experience.
Catt has been working with College Republicans to elect or re-elect Republican politicians to congressional and senatorial positions, and she says all American citizens should be politically involved.
“I will always be politically involved,” Catt says. “It’s part of the civic duty. I think everyone should strive to achieve it.”
Despite Catt’s interest and dedication, she says that the same cannot be said for all of her classmates and students are working very hard on both sides to get students involved and their respective candidates elected.
While Catt has being working on the right, Weil has been working on the left and says getting students interested in politics is important because “politics run every aspect of your life.”
“It runs the health codes, the traffic lights, how you pay taxes,” Weil says. “You need to be informed to actually offer an opinion.”