Two members of the NMU College Democrats will serve as delegates to the Democratic National Convention, which will be held in Denver in August.
Miles Baker, an NMU senior political science and international studies major, was elected as a delegate in favor of Barack Obama. Jason Morgan, a freshman political science and international studies major is an alternate (for another delegate) in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Both Baker and Morgan applied to be delegates, and initially attended the First District Convention in St. Ignace as a learning experience, Morgan said. At the convention, both made one-minute speeches as to why they should be chosen as delegates for their party, he added.
“We just wanted to learn how it all worked for the future. Obviously, I’m a freshman, I didn’t think I had any chance of doing anything,” Morgan said. “All the people there were just really impressed that we young people were so involved.”
At the national convention, delegates from each state officially nominate the Democratic presidential candidate. Michigan’s votes may not count, however, due to the fact that the state violated rules set by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) which then stripped the state of all its delegates.
But Marcella Krupski, president of the NMU College Democrats, thinks that will change.
“I don’t think the U.S. will want to exclude Michigan from that occasion or ostracize them in any way. I think they will be
seated, but in what fashion I am not positive,” she said. “They simply don’t want Michigan to be a deciding factor in this election because that would be a reward for Michigan rather than a punishment for breaking the rules.”
Although only an alternate, Morgan said the experience of participating in the national convention is thrilling.
“I think it’s incredible. It’s just a huge honor, especially being Michigan’s voter, you have so much going on that its just really important to experience and learn how it all works and help decide our presidential election,” Morgan said.
Morgan supports Clinton because he said he thinks she has the ability to handle anything that comes her way.
“I have always supported Hilary Clinton; she’s kind of the reason I started getting into politics,” he said. “She’s the first real politician who I admired. I always thought she was really amazing. No matter what she goes through, she’s a fighter, and she’s not afraid to do what she needs to get done.”
Baker said he is also very excited at the prospect of serving as a delegate for the state of Michigan.
“If you’re going to do something you need to give it your all, and that’s what we did,” he said. “It was kind of a shock to be voted for to represent the first district. However, it feels good.”
Baker believes Obama can bring about a good change in the presidency.
“He can inspire the [country] to get involved, pay attention to their government and to make it a personal responsibility to go and affect change,” he said. “I think you get that with Barack and I don’t think you get that with any other candidate; he is a once-in-a-generation leader.”
To earn money for the convention, both delegates plan to do fundraisers for the trip, because the costs are not covered by the NMU College Democrats, Baker said.
Krupski, who also attended the convention in St. Ignace, said she is excited that two members of the College Democrats will go to Colorado for the national convention.
“I think all of their hard work is paying off and that they are going to make a huge difference,” she said. “Really, they’re giving a great name to NMU as a college campus.”