Campaigning for Candidates at UCSC
By Tierney Elizabeth Werner
Unigo Campus Rep at UCSC
In what will almost be exactly a month, our country will hold one of the most exciting elections in years. Not only is the first African American the Democratic Party leader, but a woman is running for Vice President for the second time in history. If either one wins, history will be made. Here at UCSC, students have very strong opinions about why their candidate should win.
Brendan Brown, a politics major, spent his whole summer campaigning for Obama in the greater Santa Cruz area. “Well I needed money. Okay, so that wasn’t my whole reasoning. I wanted the experience,” said Brown. “ Working for a campaign is a definitely a career option (being a politics major) and I needed to know whether I was any good at it. Or liked it.” And did he like it? “It was an experience. After getting to know the issues, I felt pretty passionately about the work I was doing, but conveying that to people was a whole different story.” Brendan’s job was to go around town, talking to various people and asking for either donations or voter registration. “Its hard to get people to not just avoid you. A lot of charisma is needed. You start to learn to stop just letting the people who are dodging you get away and be persistent, as annoying as that can be. When you have a specific quota to fill and are being paid on a commissioner’s salary, you learn to do whats necessary.”
So, would he do it again? “Probably. It was a challenge that I definitely grew from,” he said. “There were times I loved it a times it was just downright tedious.” Finally, when asked about the political climate on campus, Brendan said, “The Obama campaign right now is being especially persistent in their tactics. They are dorm storming, tabling and doing everything they can to get students ready for November 4th. There are all sorts of places where you can go watch the debates with politically conscience people. I think the last one was for the Presidential debate and they held it downtown. I heard there was a good showing of people. Anyways, they just want to make sure students are informed. In no way do they want to lose the college vote right now because we are the biggest proponents of change.”
Ronnie Lipschutz, a well known political science teacher at UCSC, and author of many politics books talked extensively about how he viewed the state of politics in our country, or the decline of politics as we once saw them in our country. “None of the candidates are lying when they say that change is coming. With international borders becoming less and less apparent and politicians becoming more and greedier, it is important to focus on our political climate,” said Lipschutz.” Only time will tell, but I hope that American voters make the right decisions, and that our next president can promote progressive change that we have failed to see in years.” The elections are on their way, and as Lipschutz said, it remains to be seen whether UCSC students will stand up and make a difference.