Federal Election provides great education for students
November 14, 2019
The recent Federal election has provided students of King’s, Western and the affiliates an opportunity to learn more about the Canadian political system as part of POL 3315F: Campaign School - 2019 Federal Election.
There are 18 students are involved in the course, taught by Dr. Kate Graham, a King’s Political Science lecturer. As an added bonus to the students, they are learning about campaigning from an instructor who is also on the campaign trail herself. Dr Graham is running for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party.
Campaign School “provides students with a unique experience, learning about Canadian politics with hands-on experience with a political party, hopefully sparking a life-long political involvement,” says Dr. Graham.
Students can see politics from the ground level. They were paired with a candidate of their own choosing in the Federal election campaign. The students received a very hands-on experience, going door-to-door with the candidates, helping with canvassing and fund-raising and working with social media.
“The class is an unparalleled opportunity to learn and engage in Canadian politics. Students have a chance to build experiences, skills and networks,” says Dr. Graham.
For Sophia Plommer, a 2nd Year Honors Specialization in Political Science student, this was her first election. “This course is the perfect opportunity to take my love of politics and turn it into an amazing academic experience. I get to learn about the strategies of a campaign while being an active participant in the strategy of a local candidate’s campaign,” says Plommer.
Campaign School has also drawn students from Western’s main campus, including Grace Young, a 4th year Women’s Studies and Political Science student. She was looking for a course with an experiential learning component and has enjoyed the courses she has taken at King’s. After having heard positive reviews of last year’s Campaign School, Young says “I was excited about the fact that the whole class was able to work on whichever campaign they wanted so we could compare experiences working with different parties.”
On September 19, the students took part in Voting: A Citizen’s Right & Responsibility at the East London Library Branch. This was a non-partisan event for members of the community, including new Canadians and first-time voters. The King’s students worked with Networking and Empowering Communities through Conversation (NECC) to help promote the importance of the electoral process. Dr. Graham, Shawn Lewis (City Councillor for Ward 2) and Rick Odegaard from Fair Vote Canada served as guest speakers.
Students from Campaign School course facilitated group discussions. “It was an awesome chance for everyone to learn from each other. Event participants were learning from what I have learned in school, and I was learning from their personal experiences and life stories,” says Plommer.
“I loved having conversations with people of a different age group than myself. These discussions were intriguing, productive, and engaged,” says Young.
For more information on Campaign School, visit https://www.kings.uwo.ca/kings/assets/File/academics/polisci/Poli3315.pdf