Chapter News for Fall 2011

Members’ Reactions
Members were asked to reflect on what they learned and enjoyed most. Here are some of their thoughts:

Democratic State Convention.
Philip Montesi. What I enjoyed most about the convention was interacting with the delegates, more specifically the delegates who have been Democratic Party activists for numerous years. They had incredible stories of how the Party has evolved over the years, and it was truly a pleasure to listen to them. I also learned that an effective use of volunteers is paramount to a successful convention.

Tifini Hill. “Having access to important political figures was one of the most exciting parts of our trip. Some of us were able to talk with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, former United States Representative Alan Grayson, former Governor and United States Senator Bob Graham, as well as many state legislators. These conversations serve as inspiration for those members who would eventually like to be public servants. This also provided us an opportunity to see that our representatives are regular people who are accessible and taught us how to interact with our elected officials in a respectful and serious way.”

Jon Ball. Being a member of USF Pi Sigma Alpha chapter I was given the great opportunity to volunteer at the Florida Democratic State Convention in Orlando. This experience has provided me with a better understanding of state conventions and a greater knowledge of state party organization. I was able to get an inside look of what it takes to organize a successful state convention. I learned quickly that the purpose of these state conventions is to energize party members while rallying support for their respective candidates. This convention was absolutely essential in mobilizing delegates and exciting party members for the upcoming 2012 election. I also learned that these conventions rely heavily on the use of eager volunteers for a successful convention. As a volunteer, I was utilized in just about every aspect of the convention. As a result, I gained invaluable experience while networking with key party members and prominent politicians.

Republican State Convention.
Gabrielle Ryan. “My eyes were opened to the importance of citizens’ early involvement in the 2012 presidential race. The election is more than a year away, yet the way that people who were attending were engaged, you would have thought the election was only a month away. As Pi Sigma Alpha members, we were able to work directly with the Republican Party of Florida and the American Conservative Union, while meeting politicians, presidential candidates, and interacting with guests and political organizations. Some of us had the opportunity to work alongside media and others had the opportunity to work backstage while the presidential candidates spoke. We even met the candidates. It was an amazing experience.”

Catlin Layton. “My favorite part was listening, in person, to the presidential candidates give speeches. I had not heard most of them speak outside of the debates I had watched on television and I gained a much better sense of their stance on issues. Seeing the work that went into these two events (C-PAC Florida and Presidency V), was a great example of job opportunities in the political science field. Every type of professional was there, from campaign workers, to the media, to elected officials and their aides.”

The following are photos from our events: