DegreePolitical Science and Religious Studies ’23
I applied to my Bass Connections team on a bit of a whim – I wasn’t planning on doing one, but the group seemed almost perfectly tailored to my interests. I always say that I am interested in politics because of my interest in individual people, and elections are occasions where that role of the individual in policymaking really comes to the forefront.
Because most of the fall semester occurred before the 2020 election itself, much of the work of the group was actually concentrated on project creation and implementation, with reflection accounted for, but reserved primarily for when there was less urgency.
My group worked on content creation to promote student turnout, especially for North Carolinians and specifically Duke people. We created a framework for an effective message as being one that was enthusiastic but primarily information-centered, conceptualizing non-voting behavior as being more due to structural barriers (that particularly affect youth) than apathy. We then tried to produce media that would bring that concept to life, with a focus on it being impactful for those who viewed it, rather than just seeking popularity.
I loved what I did, but I think the most inspiring part of Bass Connections was actually hearing about what everyone else on the team was doing. It was amazing to be surrounded by a group of similarly passionate and dedicated students, and I learned so much from how they identified and approached their particular issues.
Going forward, I am really looking forward to engaging in some more traditional research on what exactly happened on November 3rd and during the weeks leading up to it. Action requires an understanding of the landscape it exists within, and I am very excited to lay the groundwork for some longer term, and hopefully highly impactful, democracy work.