Students campaign on campus as caucuses near


Caitlin Yamada/ Iowa State Daily

Right to left: Kristen Busch, Madeline Sinovic and Morgan Sperry campaign for Elizabeth Warren on Aug. 26 outside of the Memorial Union.

Lauren Ratliff

Students volunteering for political campaigns offer their time to candidates in many different ways, but tabling is one of the ways most commonly seen on Iowa State’s campus.

Students are often seen tabling in front of Parks Library, promoting their candidate and getting their message to Iowa State students.

People working for or volunteering with the presidential campaigns of Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders and businessman Andrew Yang have all had visible presences in recent weeks in front of the library in all kinds of weather.

The “Students for Bernie” student organization is regularly visible outside the library, and Nathan Whitcome, senior in computer engineering, has been among those volunteering to get out the vote for Sanders.

Whitcome is involved in the campaign through tabling and calling.

Being a student in college while volunteering on a political campaign can require a lot of time. Managing one’s time and resources can be a difficult job.

Whitcome said he enjoys having a leadership role in something he believes strongly in. He said he joined the Students for Bernie organization in hopes of informing people and sharing a message. He said he believes in the importance of exercising his right to vote, as not all people have those rights.

“There are people who don’t have the opportunity to have a voice in the same way that I do,” Whitcome said.

Whitcome said he underwent a major back surgery a few years ago. A week before his surgery, his insurance company informed him that his surgery would not be covered by the insurance. His family fought for the surgery to be covered by insurance, and it ultimately was. He said his personal experience with health insurance is one of the reasons he stands with Sanders and chooses to table.

“Health care is a human right; you don’t have to ask the question of who deserves health care and who doesn’t,” Whitcome said.

Sophie Almeida, a non-degree liberal arts and sciences specials student, is a volunteer on the Harris campaign.

The Harris campaign has been organizing on the Iowa State campus in part through a group called “Cyclones for Kamala.”

Almeida was out tabling on a day when the high temperature was only 32 degrees.

“It’s so important to table, even on days like this — it just shows how dedicated someone is to a campaign,” Almeida said. “No matter what the weather is, you’ve got to be out and talking to people.” 

Almeida said she enjoys talking to students about politics.

“Students walking past are able to see the name Kamala Harris and hopefully that leaves an impact,” Almeida said.