Recently, hundreds of young Minnesotans came together at the University of Minnesota for a Greater Together Youth Summit. Students are on the front lines of organizing their campuses to make sure young people turn out in a big way to support President Obama. One of those students is Nick C., who took a moment to answer a few questions for us:
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a senior at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Politics has been an interest of mine for as long as I can remember. I used to watch "The West Wing" with my mom every week. I also really enjoy the guitar, playing soccer with friends, reading and writing.
Of all the issues that President Obama is working on, do any particularly resonate with you?
The Buffet Rule is really taking center stage right now. To me, and I think to most Americans, it's simply common sense that a secretary shouldn't be paying a higher percentage of their income in taxes than their boss. It's just a no-brainer, especially when you look at what we could be doing with the money, like making college more affordable.
What role are you playing on the campaign?
Right now I'm the campus organizer at St. Olaf, and our student organization is cleverly enough known as "STObama." The most rewarding part of my work has been connecting with other students who are passionate about re-electing the President. We have a lot of laughs, but we're also making huge strides to organize the campus. I’m so proud of what we've been able to build.
Tell us a about your experience at the Youth Summit.
After weeks of planning, I'm glad to say that the Youth Summit was a big success. It's not easy to get college students to give up five hours on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to talk about politics, but thanks to the hard work of our team we were able to get a bunch of folks to the summit, and they liked what they heard. Afterwards I was talking to some of the St. Olaf students who came with us, and many wanted to get more involved with STObama. We hope to use the event to recruit housing captains for the rest of the year and the fall, and thanks to the Youth Summit, we've already got four new prospects. Plus, listening to the host of impressive speakers, from Jeremy Bird to Josh Hartnett to Mayor Rybak, pumped people up and got them ready to volunteer with the campaign.
What is the future of youth organizing in Minnesota?
As long as young Minnesotans have a stake in what our government does, there will be people passionate about getting involved in that process. Young people were a driving force in the Iowa Caucuses victory for Obama in January of 2008 and the general election that November. We're going to do it again- but there's plenty of work left to be done to make high youth turnout a reality once again.
Want to join Nick and get involved? Come to a "Campus Get Together" event at your college on April 26th.