How to get involved with campaigns

Politicians rely on college students to help push their campaigns

By Ashley Summerfield

The 2016 Presidential race is in full swing and candidates are using all of their resources to win the nomination from their respective party.

Candidates hire campaign managers to organize their campaign trail, staff, and all deemed necessary to gain the nomination. Candidates not only have paid staff members, but also volunteers of all ages and from all around the country.

When it comes to this presidential race, the need for volunteers is at an all-time high and many campaign managers look to college students to fulfill this need.  Not only do students get community service hours for their time, but they also gain real world campaign experience.

To some students, working for a campaign may seem out of reach, but it is much easier to get involved than you may think. Whether it is at the national, state, or even local level, campaigns are always looking for volunteers to make calls, knock on doors, and everything in between.

If you are interested in getting involved you should first make a list of candidates that you support who are up for election or reelection.  In a major election year, these candidates are not hard to find.

After you have found the candidates whom you would be interested in volunteering for, you should then visit each candidate’s campaign website.  These sites are easy to find with a quick Google search of their name and the office, which they are running for.

On each website, there will be options to either contact the campaign manager via email or phone or simply volunteer.  Depending on the route you want to take, either method is effective.

If you simply are looking to volunteer periodically for the campaign, you can put in your information and a coordinator will contact you.  On the other hand, if you are interested in applying for a paid position or volunteering on a permanent level, you will want to personally contact the campaign manager for further information.

Campaigns tend to have offices in major cities like Columbus, Toledo, Cincinnati, or Cleveland.  Although this is where the on-site calling and other tasks take place, volunteering can even happen from your own home with the help of today’s technology.  Not only that, but campaigns need people to knock on doors and get the word out in all communities.

When it comes to campaigns, there can never be enough people involved.  The more involvement, the better success rate for the candidate.  Running a campaign for office is not an easy job.  It takes countless staff members and volunteers working every day to spread awareness of the candidate.

In terms of summer volunteer opportunities, not only will it be a busy time for the presidential campaign, but Ohio also has a senator up for reelection, which will result in several volunteer opportunities.  In addition to this, students should look into campaigns that are happening at the local level in their hometown.

Being involved in a campaign of any kind is a great networking opportunity, can be a great resume builder, and has the potential to develop into a job or internship in the long run.  The experiences you gain from this type of political involvement can develop your skills greatly as well as giving you a passion for politics that you will gain first hand.

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