Election season is over, and most people are putting politics on the back-burner – for now, at least. However, High Point University promotes civic values year-round through polls that track opinion on issues important to the public, placing students in internships in politics and other public service, providing commentary on politics through faculty experts and more.
As a God, family and country school, HPU celebrates the principles on which America is founded. Below are just a few ways HPU takes an active role in public life and celebrates the democratic process:
Pictured above: HPU student Jacob Foster distributes informational materials at the Jamestown Town Hall polling location on Election Day.
The HPU Poll
This semester, HPU fielded surveys of likely voters in three highly competitive Senate races in North Carolina, Colorado and New Hampshire to gain a snapshot of campaigns that determined the U.S. Senate’s leadership. You may have seen results from this round of HPU Polls in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the Huffington Post, Yahoo! News, New York Times, Fox News, ABC News, USA Today, MSN, the Denver Post and more. In case you missed it, click here for a rundown of what the polls found.
The HPU Poll not only reports results as a public service, but it provides survey research experience for the student-workers who conduct the polls as well. Working in the Survey Research Center provides students extensive training in ethics, data collection, interviewing and more. This experience is often a contributing factor for students seeking internships and jobs in the political sector.
Outside of working the polls on Election Day, students like Briayna Cuffie and Anne Davey dove into politics by interning and volunteering this semester with the North Carolina Republican Party Headquarters, the Guilford County Democratic Party (GCDP), the Guilford County Republican Party and more.
Cuffie worked as an office administration and voter registration intern with the GCDP. There, she had the opportunity to hear first-hand various perspectives on North Carolina politics and the issues that matter most to voters. She also learned the effectiveness of one-on-one communication and keeping a strong, active volunteer database.
“Through working with the state party during such a competitive election cycle, I’ve been able to better understand the importance of voting and how we each play an important part in our government,” explains Davey. “Being able to affect change and have a say in the people that we send to Washington is a right and privilege.”
Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll and assistant professor of political science, and Dr. Alixandra Yanus, assistant professor of political science, are frequently featured on both local and national news outlets for their political expertise. Most recently, Kifer interpreted results for one of the most-watched Senate races this year on live television as the votes came in on Election Night. View one of Kifer’s segments with the News & Record here: http://www.news-record.com/news/video-inside-n-c-politics-who-ll-win-the-congressional/article_abbb452a-614b-11e4-bc60-0017a43b2370.html?mode=story. Additionally, Yanus offered her expertise on the role of gender in political campaigns.