Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Students recall DNC experiences

Although a handful of students described themselves as “glorified gophers” when speaking about their experiences working for the Democratic National Convention, they sure don’t regret their recent gig.

“You’ll be able to tell your kids and grandkids about this,” said political science Professor and DNC delegate Seth Masket, who led about a dozen student interns in a discussion Sept. 10. “This is a big, big thing.”

Although students admitted to making coffee, driving golf carts around the Pepsi Center and stacking coolers, they did agree it was indeed a “big” opportunity.

Most explained that simply being part of the political atmosphere and its excitement made it worth it.

“So many people were drawn to the city without any guarantee that they will be granted any access,” said TIME intern Mary Jean O’Malley, a senior studying journalism and political science major.

Students compared their work with each network, talked favoritism among media outlets and shared thoughts on protestors. They agreed that the few non-violent protests were more effective than purely trying to “anger people.”

The students even compared notes on celebrity sightings (actors Jamie Foxx and Jessica Alba) and discussed who’s tall and who’s short on the CNN anchor team.

“The Denver kids might have been the most hard working, diligent, intelligent group we have ever had,” said Katie Curcio, internship coordinator at CBS News. “They were fantastic.”

CBS intern Robert Clever, a junior international business and German major, said he worked 20-hour days — not all of them glamorous. He was sent out to get lunch one day and came back with hundreds of salads and paninis. “The Secret Service had to scan all the sandwiches,” he said. He waited in line for hours trying to get into the Pepsi Center.

Political science and international studies senior Tess Cromer did survey research for Masket, so her job was interviewing people all around the convention. “I interviewed delegates and even protestors,” she said. Her job was to compare outsiders and insiders at the convention and “what things split the Clinton and Obama people,” she said.

“I might have been a little too close to be objective,” Masket said. “But the convention was of very good quality.”

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