While some students debate in class, more than 20 Ohio University political advocates are actively volunteering for the Hillary Clinton campaign, setting up voter registration tables and organizing events on campus.
Those students work as fellows for the Clinton campaign through a collaboration of OU College Democrats and Ohio Together.
Sam Miller, president of OU College Democrats, has been eagerly awaiting Clinton’s candidacy for years and jumped at the chance to campaign for her.
“All of my life, I’ve really looked up to Hillary Clinton,” Miller, a junior studying journalism, said. “She has shown me that women can achieve anything. Ever since 2008, I’ve been on the Hillary Clinton bandwagon, eagerly awaiting her to announce that she was running for president in 2016.”
Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, is themost popular nominee among young voters, according to the Washington Post. She has taken a strong stance on debt-free college education and has said she will serve millennials during her presidency.
Bailey Williams, a freshman studying political science, applied for the Clinton campaign at the start of the year. The application process took about a week, including a 30-minute interview with a campaign organizer and screening of his social media.
The primary goal of fellows is registering voters on campus, especially since the registration deadline is Oct. 11, Williams said.
“It is getting kind of hectic because we know there are still a lot of people on campus who aren’t registered, so we’re just geared towards finding who they are, registering them, making sure they know the places to vote,” Williams said. “We’re trying to make it easier on them.”
Other responsibilities include educating students about Clinton’s platform, canvassing and accommodating campaign surrogates such as actorJohn Lithgow, undecided sophomore Jillian Stern, the membership director of OU College Democrats, said.
Miller’s work of 20 hours a week can be overwhelming to balance with student life at times, yet she said it is worth it.
There are many opportunities for volunteers to work the required 10 to 15 hours a week and still maintain their class schedule, Williams said.
“It’s very easy to work it into your schedule and to just pop in and out whenever you can,” Williams said. “It’s really geared towards making sure you can be a student first and do this in your extra time.”
Even though Williams does not agree with all of Clinton’s stances, he said she is the best way to stop Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee.
“I am fearful of a Trump presidency,” Williams said. “Even though I voted for Bernie (Sanders) in the primary, I know Clinton is the best chance of preventing a Trump presidency.”
No matter what students believe, Stern said she just wants people to exercise their right to vote.
“It’s half a page and that’s all you have to do,” Stern said. “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.”
Originally published for The Post on September 28, 2016.