ASU students get fired up for primary presidential candidates

As the 2016 presidential election season heats up, student-run political organizations at ASU attempt to make their political footprint both on and off campus. 

Students for Bernie, which was organized in fall 2014 is a student group dedicated to getting Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) elected and increasing civic engagement and political awareness on campus. 

Software engineering sophomore Manny Singh, the club's president, said the goal of the organization is to support Sanders and increase awareness about the presidential candidate.

"We try to raise awareness for Bernie and voter registration," Singh said. "Overall, it's just to gather and build the grassroots movement here at ASU." 

Singh said he wasn't politically active when he was younger and registered as Independent when he was able to vote and figured he never would. 

Now that Singh is president of Students for Bernie, he said he is excited for his fellow students' political engagement.

"I never thought I would be doing this ever," Singh said. "But here I am starting 14 steps ahead of an organization to get somebody elected."

Criminal justice senior Veronica Monge, the club's secretary and regional leader, said the experience working of working as a leader, volunteering and engaging with students has been a rewarding journey so far. 

“What has really stuck with me in regards to Students for Bernie is that I have been able to assist other college students and I've taken on a leadership role by teaching students how to empower themselves," Monge said. 

In addition to Students for Bernie, Students for Rubio are also looking to make their mark on campus.

Political science freshman Jacob Lille was recently elected as the Arizona deputy director of students for Rubio.

Lille said his support of Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio came from his study abroad experience in Israel and the connections he made through a political conference in D.C. 

"I believe he is the candidate of the future," Lille said. "I see myself in him because I am going into politics because I realize that my party is far from perfect. He believes that we're not Republicans, we're not Democrats we're Americans."

Lille said his experience working for Students for Rubio AZ has been a rewarding one, and it even allowed him to meet Rubio himself. Lille added that he doesn't think that politics are students' first priority, however he's seen an improvement. 

"I do see a lot of people — even when they talk about politics, they do have an opinion. Both parties have experienced that," Lille said.

Although presidential candidate Ted Cruz is leading in the polls, Millennials for Cruz at ASU did not respond to multiple requests for comment by the time of publication. 

Related Links:

Supporters open office in continued Bernie-mentum

Bernie Sanders speaks about income inequality to his largest audience yet at Phoenix rally


Reach the reporter at sgreene6@asu.edu or follow @thesydneygreene on Twitter.

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