International students “dig in” to U.S. presidential politics at Lynn University
Published Sep. 04, 2012
Lynn University’s hosting of the Oct. 22 presidential debate on foreign policy offers a once-in-a-life-time chance for the school's students from both the United States and from the nearly 80 countries from around the world represented at Lynn, to work side-by-side as volunteers for the debate and the candidates’ campaigns.
International students represent nearly a quarter of the student body at Lynn, and, while not voters in the United States, they are taking advantage of this opportunity to learn about America's electoral process from a distinctively insider’s view.
Marcheta Wright, professor of international relations in Lynn’s College of Liberal Education, says international students are especially excited to participate in the October presidential debate for a variety of reasons.
Top reasons include:
- similarities and differences they see between voting and elections here and those in their own countries
- the chance for cultural immersion in this political context
- the length, funding and nature of political campaigns in the U.S. compared to those their countries
- international issues and the ‘local-global’ connection
International students will be matched with volunteer positions related to their majors, skills and other areas of interest. For example, an international relations or communications major from Ecuador or the United Kingdom, might find herself/himself assisting the international media in the week prior to the debate. In addition, criminal justice majors could find themselves helping out with security outside the auditorium on the day of the event.
“International students, regardless of their home country, recognize and are taking advantage of this opportunity to enhance their experience abroad,” said Wright. “In other countries, by comparison, there are ample opportunities in the United States for civic engagement beginning at a relatively young age, such as youth organizations affiliated with political parties.”
More on Wright:
Marcheta Wright is a professor of international relations in Lynn University’s College of Liberal Education.
Areas of expertise: U.S. foreign policy, human rights, international law, women and politics, regional geopolitics, environmental politics.
Brief bio: Wright has an extensive research background in human rights, globalization, gender and their relevance for U.S. foreign policy. She has regularly spoken with the media on issues surrounding current regional and geopolitical situations, American positions on global events and the topics listed above.