Democracy in Action

Gulzari Tursunova, Kyrgyzstan, Mercyhurst University

Fired up! Ready to go!!!

Who came to the USA for fall semester during a presidential election period majoring in Political Science? Yeah…that’s me, the luckiest person in the world!

Carpe diem! I’m doing everything to fulfill my time here. The USA and democracy are intertwined. All I wanted during my fall semester was to have first-hand experience of American democracy.

During the pre-electoral campaign, I volunteered with two organizations – Keystone Progress and People Action – and encouraged students to go vote. The challenging part was to begin. But after my first pledge I was fired up, and no one could stop me! I found so many like-minded people at my school, and made so many friends!

I had pledge cards containing information on why students vote, which included ideas like ending mass incarceration, student debt, gender, and climate justice, and planned together with kids when they will go vote and how many friends they will invite. It’s kind of psychological pressure to them as they plan, write, pledge to go vote – they commit to a 100% chance that they will go and vote themselves for sure.

I’m a Political Science major and I understand how important it is to vote in elections because every vote matters. You are not only choosing your candidate, you are choosing your future, the future of your family, the future of your friends, the future of your neighbors. And my mission was to convince kids to do their civic duty.

Finally, Election Day…all congratulating each other on this day…I texted all the kids who had pledged and made calls and asked them how it was. And I was so happy for them, almost all students actively participated in the election.

After the elections I felt so fulfilled, like I had done one of the important things that I came here for. It felt like I, and not Hillary Clinton,  had won the popular vote. It was great fortune for me to experience it. Who knows, maybe one day this article will be by the Madame President.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *