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MC students cover Iowa caucuses

January 29, 2016

MC grad Elizabeth Meyer interviews Secretary Clinton.

Past and present Monmouth College students will be actively involved with coverage of the Iowa Caucuses next Monday. Former News Editor of The Courier and 2015 Monmouth College alum Elizabeth Meyer had the opportunity to interview former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Meyer, currently working as Hawk Eye’s political reporter in Burlington, IA, shared her experience interviewing the candidate. “The opportunity to interview Secretary Clinton was an incredible experience, especially for someone in their first job out of college! I was definitely nervous, but I just focused on the questions I wanted to ask, in the short amount of time I had to ask them. She was very kind and personable, asking me where I was from, how long I’d been with The Hawk Eye and where I’d worked before this. Needless to say, she was pleasantly surprised when I said I just graduated college in May and this was my first job.”

Meyer noted reasons why she believes many Millennials lack interest in the political scene, “Most of the campaign events I cover are populated mostly with older Americans, not the millennial or college-age set, which is definitely discouraging. In Iowa in particular, people have an incredible opportunity to see just about every presidential candidate up close, usually more than once. I think young people aren’t as engaged because politics has become so divisive and off-putting in recent years. At least, that’s how it’s portrayed on TV. I think if young people gave it a chance and attended a campaign rally or meet-and-greet with a candidate, they would be pleasantly surprised how interesting and informative it can be to hear from candidates unfiltered rather than the soundbites they have to produce for cable news.”

Students from Professor Robin Johnson’s Integrated Studies course “Politics and Government in the Midwest,” as well as Professor Nathan Kalmoe’s “American Politics” and “Political Psychology” classes will travel to Burlington, IA to witness the caucus. For many individuals, this will be a first time experience. “As an active voter, I’m excited to go to the caucus just to witness such a unique and important feature of the American electoral process,” said senior political science major Anthony Howe. “I’ve never been close enough to have to opportunity to go, so I’d be foolish to waste the chance.”

Kalmoe views this trip as a learning opportunity for his students, “This experience is good for everyone. It shows the idiosyncrasies of the presidential selection process, it provides models of civic engagement, and it helps us appreciate the messy process of collective decision-making in the real world of politics.”

The Courier will provide the results of the Iowa Caucuses in next week’s edition.

Julianna Graf
Editor In Chief

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