Monday, November 29, 2010

"Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year..."

One of the best things about IU is the perfect distance between Bloomington and downtown Indy. We're just far enough away that we feel like we're getting that small, college town experience, but close enough that working in or making day trips to Indy are certainly possible.

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday of the year because it starts off the holiday season. The holidays mean free time, food, family and friends. I went to Indianapolis for Thanksgiving and ventured to downtown for Indy's holiday season kick-off.

With the wind chill hovering in the high teens, I met some of my friends from school in downtown for dinner and the Circle of Lights, where a light tree is lit up around Monument Circle. My IU tree is up, I have the ingredients for sugar cookies, and my holiday music has its own new playlist on my iPod. Now just to survive finals... The break is over!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Night Out on the Town

I love the Buskirk Chumley Theatre. Saturday night, two of my roommates and I took a stroll down Kirkwood to the Buskirk for a girls' night of fabulous acoustic music in an intimate setting where there isn't a bad seat.

The main act, an indie-esque sing named Ben Kweller, took the stage after the quirky tunes of Julia Nunes, an up-and-coming YouTube sensation whose ukulele tunes and jokes kept the audience entertained. Kweller took the stage solo for an hour of heart-rendering lyrics and occasional audience participation.

With the Buskirk sitting only a few blocks from campus and a fabulous calendar for the rest of the school year, I encourage students to take advantage of the great up-and-coming acts and low ticket prices for a fun night out on the town!

Monday, November 8, 2010

One Big "W"!

After two years of campaigning and six months of hard campaigning for the general election, Tuesday night was one big celebration for Team Todd Young for Congress! With 52% of the vote, Todd Young won Indiana's 9th Congressional District.

After an Election Eve of College Republicans putting up candidate signs at polling locations and around campus, we spent Election Day phone banking on behalf of Todd Young and encouraging registered voters to make it to the polls. Staff, College Republicans and volunteers watched election returns until the race was called at 8:48 and Todd took the stage for a speech that moved us to tears shortly after 9.

Interning on this campaign will go down as one of the most incredible experiences in my undergraduate career. I have so much respect for the hard work and sacrifices Congressman-elect Young, his family and the Todd Young for Congress staff have made for the people of Indiana's 9th District and the values we believe in.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Election Fever

After spending much of my summer volunteering on the primary campaign of Ben Quayle, a 33-year-old running for U.S. Congress in my home district (AZ CD-3) in Phoenix, I knew I wanted to stay involved in politics this fall. I read candidates' websites and watched campaign videos and something about Todd Young, a 38-year-old father of four, attorney and former Marine, struck a chord with me. He understood many of the problems I saw facing America and, unlike most other politicians, was prepared to fight to bring our country back on track.

Todd Young speaking to voters following the first Congressional debate at Valparaiso University-Jasper.

Although I could write a whole post about his stances on the issues and there are not enough words to describe his work ethic and dedication to the people of Indiana's 9th District, I don't want to make this an entirely political blog. To me, the choice is clear.

College Republicans making phone calls to get out the vote for Todd Young for Congress.

Being politically involved in this election cycle, especially in Bloomington--a small town in the midst big political battles--has proven a wonderful experience. Firstly, I think students, especially political science majors like myself, undervalue the importance of being involved in the political process. Through IDing voters and talking to students I've found that most are not register to vote in the Bloomington area, and the majority do not intend to vote this election. Students neglect to see how the actions of our elected officials influence our current lifestyles and will certainly influence our futures.

Todd Young answering voters' questions at a meet-and-greet
for voters south of Bloomington to get to know Todd.

Then comes two different arguments I tell many people who tell me they are not voting. Firstly, if you aren't happy or think you won't be happy with a certain outcome, then get involved or don't complain. Secondly, why sit around studying theory, as much of political science classes are, when you can actively participate in the real deal right now!

With former Vice President Dan Quayle.

I've met a former vice president, current and past members of Congress, the governor, and dozens of Indiana's elected officials. I've made hundreds of calls encouraging citizens to exercise their Constitutional right to vote. I've gotten to know fantastic and passionate individuals from all over southern Indiana who have faith in our system of government and hope for the American dream. As cheesy as it sounds, it has been an inspiring experience.

A voter asks Todd a question about the health care legislation.

Todd Young for Congress has had more than 100 hours of my last eight weeks. Todd Young knows he has support and commitment to the campaign in these final two days. Yet regardless of which side of the aisle you stand, I encourage each of you to get involved in the final 48 hours of this election cycle-it's going to be a close one, this is an exciting district and an exciting time in politics!