Students Get Inside Look at Political Process

The Charger Bulletin

By UNH Today

In Cristal Reyes’s mind, her history classes and what is taking place in politics are inextricably linked. “Being interested in politics is second nature to me,” she said. “You can’t understand important parts of history without understanding politics.”

With a presidential election and a hotly contested senatorial race in Connecticut, the fall semester presented a great time for Reyes, a sophomore, to take her first political science class at UNH.

She was interested in taking a class taught by lecturer Gary Fetzer because of his previous experience as a lobbyist and a candidate for office. “There is nothing better than having a professor with field experience,” she said.

As part of the class, all students are required to volunteer on a campaign. Over the last few months, Reyes worked on Chris Murphy’s campaign for U.S. Senate.

As part of her first experience working on a campaign, she made phone calls and was a paid canvasser in the West Haven area. She estimates that she made 300 phone calls and visited more than 100 homes.

“I enjoyed meeting new people and learning more about their diverse political opinions,” she said.

In the future, Reyes hopes to pursue a career as a college professor or a campaign manager. She might consider running for office herself one day. “I learned firsthand that running for office is a time-consuming and expensive decision that takes the right mindset and a lot of heart and dedication,” she said.

One of Reyes’s classmates, Christopher Arminio ’14 (left), volunteered on Stephen Dargan’s campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. For the history education major, it also was Arminio’s first experience on the front lines of a campaign.

“Being a theater minor, I found the experience interesting because I had to adapt what I would say to people who answered the phone or came to the door so it sounded natural and not scripted,” he said.

At the beginning of this semester, Simone Quartey ’15 attended the Republican National Convention. Read the blog that she kept about her experiences.