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Election connection

The 2012 Presidential Election is almost here, marked by countless political ads and telephone polls (not to mention debates). As candidates vie for remaining undecided votes on the national level, the direction the election actually takes often depends on local forces, including here, at West High.

PHOTO BY//HANNAH MUELLERLEILE

Voter canvass folders are prepared for Obama for America volunteers at the Democratic headquarters in Coralville.

[I’ve seen] all ages [volunteering] …

PHOTO BY//HANNAH MUELLERLEILE

Lauren Knudson ’15 assembles folders for voter canvassing at the Coralville Democratic office. BY AMELIA MOSER AND JORDAN ROSSEN

V

amoser@wsspaper.com jrossen@wsspaper.com

olunteers for political campaigns are in charge of a lot of different things. Phone calls, spreading the word about events, working to get out the vote, informing people of early voting - all to help their candidate get elected. Yasmin Elgaali ’13 is one of these volunteers, working for Obama for America. “We visit undecided voters and try to convince them to vote for our candidate,” she said. Elgaali enjoys volunteering, which

is part of the reason she got involved. “I just came from Dubai, and you can’t [campaign] over there,” she said. “It seemed like a good opportunity to meet people … there are people who go here [at West] who I wouldn’t know if I hadn’t volunteered.” A wide variety of people volunteer for campaigns. “[I’ve seen] all ages [volunteering] … 7-year-olds with their mother all the way to 80-year-olds. I can’t think of a dominant age group,” Elgaali said. “Some people put in weekdays, but I just volunteer on weekends because I take AP classes. Even an hour or two makes a difference.” Elgaali says she thinks it’s important for students to get involved in the political process. “If you don’t get involved at this age, it’s hard later, and it’s good to be educated … it’s a lot, the whole

7-year-olds

with their mother

process, and it’s better to start young. Young people have a lot of energy,” she said. Lauren Knudson ’15 is another volunteer for Obama for America. She agrees students need to play a role in the election. “We can’t vote, but this is going to affect us a lot more than other people … especially with healthcare and women’s rights … it’s going to affect me a lot so I want to get involved,” she said. “My dad [volunteered] … I knew I wanted to volunteer, so I signed up for a fellowship opportunity - it keeps me volunteering because you have to volunteer at least eight hours a week.” Connor Schueler ’14, a volunteer for the Romney campaign, agrees on the importance of volunteering.

all the way to

80-year-olds.” -Yasmin Elgaali ’ 13 “Volunteering is great for young adults who can’t vote, but still want to have an influence,” he said. “Age doesn’t matter ... The people there are super accommodating.” However, motives for volunteering aren’t confined to societal benefits. Schueler revealed additional reasons for his efforts. “They give you all kinds of stuff: hats, sunglasses, bumper stickers, even Chick-fil-A,” he said. The general election affects students beyond just volun-

6 NEWS OCTOBER 2012 { BOSTON, MASS., HOLDS THE RECORD FOR THE MOST JACK-O’-LANTERNS LIT AT ONCE: 30,128.

Oct. 26, 2012  

The October 2012 issue of the West Side Story

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