Internship program launches government classes into politics
This election year, the Maine South Social Science Department is giving credit to students active in political work. Students wishing to work for any other candidate must do so through the regular organization.
An internship program has been set up for students in government classes. This program has been developed in conjunction with the campaigns of Senator Charles Percy, Congressman Roman Pucinski, Congressman Abner Mikva, and Mr. Sam Young.
When asked about her opinion of the internship program, one interested senior replied, "It's really a great way to get experience in campaigning."
If a student wishes to substitute his work on the internship program for the major research assignment on politics, he must follow certain rules:
He must spend an average of three hours a week canvassing for his candidate.
He should canvass politely.
He must prepare and hand in to his teacher a written summary of what he learned.
He must hand in a time sheet signed by a supervisory official from campaign headquarters.
Any student can work for a candidate, but only seniors will get class credit.
The Social Science Department sees its internship program as an "opportunity to see politics on a grass root level," according to Mr. Faulhaber, an accelerated government teacher.
"The kids will see that the success or failure of campaigns comes from the amount of volunteer work put in individual precincts," he continued.
Mr. Faulhaber also commented, "It appears to me some of the candidates are trying to relate to the 18-year-old vote through student campaign workers."
He estimated the percentage of students participating from accelerated classes at 25 per cent.
Many students also seem to think that the program is worthwhile.
"More and more young people are taking an active interest in politics because they know it's the most effective way to change things they don't like," said Stan, chairman of Students for Mikva.
"The Mikva campaign offers a unique opportunity for the politically interested student to have an impact on American government," remarked Bill '73, student coordinator for Mikva at Maine South.
A student can do many things if he wishes to work on a political campaign.
He can go from door-to-door with literature backing the candidate of his choice.
He can make phone calls, go to high schools and colleges, or go from door-to-door to recruit people into registering to vote.
He can welcome candidates at rallies or at airports, or he can donate money to the candidate's funds.
"Participating in local campaigns will give students good experience in grass root politics. We hope the internship program will have a profound effect on students," concluded Mr. Feichter, social science teacher.