The Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Policy will accept student applications through May 8 for its newly launched 2016 Convention Ambassadors program, an initiative providing members with access to the presidential nominating conventions in July.
GU Politics will fund transportation and housing for selected students traveling to either the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28 or the Republican National Convention in Cleveland from July 18 to 21. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible.
According to Lauren Mullins, director of communications of the McCourt School of Public Policy, ambassadors will volunteer in committees and attend events with media outlets and other political organizations to develop a behind-the-scenes understanding of the nominating process.
In addition to serving as spokespeople to political media, members are expected to generate content through social media including Snapchat, Twitter and blog posts documenting their experiences on the trail.
The programming further includes meet-and-greet sessions with prominent political actors from the campaign trail, along with collaborations with other Institutes of Politics representing schools including Harvard University and the University of Chicago.
Mullins said the program allows participants to witness one of the most instrumental processes in each presidential race.
“The whole idea of GU Politics is really kind of pulling back the curtains and allowing Hoyas to see what politics is really like up close,” Mullins said. “I think we want to give Hoyas that experience to help both conventions and open up their eyes to the process while we’re up there meeting with political figures, meeting with other organizations involved in the process and continuing that learning effort on both sides.”
Mullins said although the number of available slots has not yet been established, students accepted on the basis of their political engagement and background will be notified of their selection by May 15. Applicants can indicate their preference for which convention they would like to attend on the application.
“We are looking for kids who are smart and driven and interested in this topic, who are from both parties and want to go to the convention and experience it,” Mullins said. “I think successful candidates will be familiar with social media, and we will absolutely look for representations from both political parties and from the middle as well.”
Gabriela Barrera (SFS ’19), who identifies as a moderate Democrat, said she is applying to the program to gain knowledge about how the nomination process works.
“I want to leave either convention with a better understanding of how conventions work, from the delegate process, internal political agreements or disagreement within parties and how the voice of independents and third parties candidates will respond to having a position of influence over how both establishment politics and general constituents will begin looking more critically at the two party system,” Barrera said.
Chairwoman of Georgetown Students for Rubio Alexandra Williams (SFS ’19) said she hopes her participation in the program could bolster her voice as a politically engaged millennial.
“Attending this event would help me with my future political ambitions by allowing me to make a name for myself as a millennial who is engaged in the political process and determined to have a voice, by giving me a platform as an ambassador on social media for my peers and millennials around the country,” Williams wrote in an email to The Hoya.