Our Students on the Campaign Trail - My Life on a Political Campaign

November 1, 2016
Evelyn Kennedy and Paige Sims photo

Our political science majors have been busy as ever participating in the 2016 presidential election. From attending the convention as delegates to interning on the campaign trail, our students are making an impact on the political process today. Two of our majors describe their experiences below.

Evelyn Kennedy: From Westlake, Ohio, Kennedy is a finance and fundraising intern for Rob Portman for Senate Campaign

1) Who are you working for and how did you decide to get involved in the campaign?

I work on the Portman for Senate Campaign, however I work most directly for the Finance Director of the campaign, Natalie Baur, as I my job primarily involves fundraising efforts. I decided to get involved in the campaign not only because it was valuable experience for me as a collegiate student in the midst of a heated election season, but also because I wanted to learn more about campaign finance and the inner workings of a senate race. I was familiar with Senator Portman and his stances, particularly on local job growth, drug abuse, and energy reform. I believed him to be an extremely qualified candidate that I would gladly support through my work as an intern.

2)  What has been the most interesting or memorable part of your experience?

The most memorable experience that I have had through the campaign is attending the Republican National Convention in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. The atmosphere downtown was completely electric and being in the middle of one of the biggest political events to ever occur in the city was a memory I will never forget. I also helped plan and attend an event where former President George W. Bush spoke. I listened from 20 feet away as the President gave his opinion on the current political situation and gave thanks for all of the work my boss had done.

3) What would you say to your peers who feel disillusioned by politics right now?

To my peers who are disillusioned by politics or confused by this years election, I would urge them to vote. Most people think that just because they don't think there are good candidates for the presidential election for whatever reason, they forget about all of the other races, including the one that I work most closely with. Many times, it is the local, state and smaller federal seats and politicians that effect more change. As a follow-up, I would also attempt to break down the negative mentality they have towards politics in general. As a politician, I know that many times the professionals in this field do not always give us the best reputation, however I would reassure them by saying that the point of politics is to create and enact policy that changes lives for the better. It is extremely important to me as well as many others, and it is fundamental to our society.

Paige Sims: From Marion, Ohio, Sims is interning for the “DeWine for Ohio” campaign.

"Currently, I am an intern for the Attorney General, Mike DeWine, as a part of the the “DeWine for Ohio” campaign. Specifically, I work on the finance team, which raises funds to support the Attorney General’s efforts and future endeavors. This opportunity was one that was offered to me after interning with the Ohio Republican Party this summer. It was one that I absolutely couldn’t turn down! This whole internship has been such a learning experience that I couldn’t be more grateful for. With my internship, I am able to work, first hand, with experts in the political and finance fields, here in Columbus, Ohio. This opportunity has provided me with so much knowledge and insight that I will be able to take with me into my future career.

Being directly involved in the political field makes you that much more attuned to all the concerns of your peers, regarding politics. There are so many opinions being voiced, many of which you probably don’t agree with, and it’s hard to sort out your own views from the views of those around you. Many of you may even be feeling disillusioned by politics right now. My advice to you is to stay firm in what you believe in, and don’t let all of the hype of our current political situation turn you off to politics. We are in a critical time that will shape the future for each and every one of us. Now is when we need to be most involved and take action. The worst thing you can do is remain silent."