Listen up, Young Left-Wing Politicos: for a mere $47k in annual tuition and fees, you can attend Occidental College and dash off for ten weeks to volunteer on a political campaign – and receive college credit. It just needs to be in a battleground state, and you must return to campus after the election for the “reflective component” of the course. For liberals, convincing students to take out student loans to pay to volunteer on liberal campaigns is despicable.
This year, 11 students participated in the so-called Campaign Semester, and, remarkably (or not, with previous attendees like Barack Obama), 100% of these students volunteered for Democrat candidates. What’s really not so remarkable is that fact that 100% of those students also worked on losing campaigns* – including the campaign of our own outgoing U.S. Senator Mark Udall.
Junior Hannah Kaminsky, pictured in this Los Angeles Times story about the 16-credit program, described the Udall loss as “devastating” after weeks of “working campaign events, stuffing envelopes, and making phone calls” on behalf of the ill-fated campaign. Kaminsky seemed to handle defeat better than her classmate assigned to the Kay Hagan campaign, who admitted an episode of “gross-crying and ugly-sobbing” after it became clear that North Carolina voters were sending the one-term Senator packing.
Thankfully though, their sensitive professors back in California brought in one of the school’s religious counselors to help the students grapple with their resounding defeats. Speaking to the students as if they were returning from a tour in Afghanistan, the Rev. Dr. Susan Young counseled the group that it was natural “to have trouble readjusting to college life or to feel out of place.” For the record, the Peak received no such perks, despite our devastation over 2012 and embarrassment over 2010.
Additionally, in what must have been part of the “reflective component” of the semester, political professor Peter Dreier lamented that the students were “mature enough to realize that this was part of a national trend that may have been unstoppable this year.”
We assume the campaigns didn’t list this pay-to-work labor as any kind of in-kind or otherwise campaign contribution, but we’ll go ahead and check final campaign finance docs. This all would be more understandable if Occidental sent students to both sides of the aisle. As it stands, it would appear that Occidental is just pocketing money for supplying free labor to friends of the liberal cause.
*Two students volunteered with the Mary Landrieu campaign this year. Senator Landrieu has not officially lost, yet.