With a political think tank right on campus, strategic objectives that champion the Constitution, and a burgeoning political science department, Colorado Christian University is quickly becoming known for its voice in the political realm. The Republican National Convention, which moves into full-swing today, marks a notable distinction for the school: the two pages representing Colorado both attend CCU.
Erin Shumaker and Jonathan Finer, both seniors, were contacted last spring by John Andrews, director of CCU's political think tank, Centennial Institute. Andrews encouraged them to apply, noting that his service as a page was instrumental in his career, one that has seen him serve as a speechwriter for President Nixon and a state senator in Colorado.
The students' acceptance will allow them to get a behind-the-scenes view of a political convention. Additionally, Shumaker is serving as Assistant Chief Page, which allows added exposure to higher profile personalities.
Both students see the convention as a stepping stone to a career in politics. "I want to network with people and get to know my way around Washington," Shumaker commented. "I want to work in D.C. after graduation as an administrative assistant, so gaining a network will help when I am ready to take that next step!"
Finer, too, expects his career to lead into politics. "My goal is to get the public educated about elected officials," he remarked, "so that we can have people in office who put America's interests ahead of their personal interests. I believe strongly in ridding our culture of apathy in the younger generations -- an apathy I used to hold toward politics."
In fact, Shumaker and Finer have both been active in ridding the younger generation of apathy locally. They are chair and vice-chair, respectively, for CCU's chapter of Young Americans for Freedom; Shumaker also interns at Centennial Institute, and Finer recently finished an internship at The Heritage Foundation, a think tank in Washington, D.C.
In preparing for this experience, both mentioned the instrumental culture at Colorado Christian University. "Being at CCU has allowed me to become politically active on and off campus," said Finer. "Thanks to John Andrews and President Bill Armstrong [a former U.S. senator], students get to be on the receiving end of a network of political figures while learning and preparing for events like the RNC."
Shumaker agreed: "Being a political science major has allowed me to get a conservative perspective on politics and to own my political beliefs. Will I have all the answers? Unlikely, but I have a strong foundation from which to build my understanding."
The Republican National Convention runs August 27-30 in Tampa, FL. Beyond the formal nomination of a presidential candidate, the convention is meant to educate attendees and the public about the party's platform. For more information, visit www.gopconvention2012.com