On the campaign trail

BGSU student volunteers for Kasich campaign

By Marie Dunn-Harris

The political season is in full swing, with presidential candidates campaigning across the country. Those campaigns would not be possible without the hundreds of volunteers and supporters who make it happen. BGSU senior Jarod Rose had the opportunity to help on Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign prior to the South Carolina primary, thanks to his summer internship with the Licking County Republican Party.

“The chair of the Republican Party in Newark, Ohio, asked me if I would be interested and it sounded really exciting and like a great opportunity,” he said.

Rose was in South Carolina from Feb. 16-21, which meant he had to miss his classes, including some exams. He praised his professors and RSA adviser for letting him take the time off.

“It’s great that the faculty and staff here are so accommodating to let students further their own future,” he said.

Once he agreed to go, Rose was deployed as part of Kasich’s ground team. He spent most of his time knocking on doors and putting up yard signs. His team hit between 220-250 doors in one day. Other work included setting up and tearing down at campaign rallies and making phone calls in the evenings. 

During this experience, he learned a lot about voters and why they support their candidates. This aspect was fascinating to Rose, who is a political science and history major.

“One of the most interesting things I found out was the demographic of who’s voting for Kasich and why and who’s voting for Trump and why,” he said. 

“When we talked to ‘Trumpsters’ they would give us a one-line response of, ‘Well, I don’t think this is going right in the country and this is why it’s not going right.’ Whereas, when we talked with a Kasich or Carson supporter they’d give us a more thought-out explanation. They appeared to be less angry than Trump supporters,” Rose said.

Another aspect of the experience that Rose enjoyed was learning the logistics of campaign spending and why more money is spent in certain areas.

“You always hear how campaigns are so expensive and why they’re so expensive,” he said. “It was interesting to get that firsthand experience of why they were spending so much money on the campaign in one area of a state instead of another.”

Rose had the chance to meet Kasich after one of his campaign rallies, where they talked about the Republican National Convention.

“He told us he wants to go all the way to Cleveland. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in getting that far, if he’s able to get the majority of support in Ohio,” Rose said.

Rose is graduating this May and plans on attending law school. The campaign experience could yield huge benefits for his future.

“This internship was a resume builder; it was a wonderful opportunity for networking and getting my name out there with people on the campaign who have connections,” he said.

When asked if he sees himself running for office, Rose didn’t say it was out of the question.

“I wouldn’t mind getting politically active after I graduate,” he said. “I always thought it would be cool to be a judge, or I could see myself running for state Congress or state Senate.”

Rose participates in a number of activities on campus. He is the president of the Resident Student Association, a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary, sits on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee in the history department, and last semester he served as an undergraduate teaching assistant.

He also comes from a Falcon family. His sister is currently a first- year student and his mother is a BGSU alumna. He remembers visiting campus often as a child, so choosing BGSU was an easy decision for him to make.

“I respect that BGSU tries to keep the costs down to make it as affordable as possible for students,” he said. “I like the layout and size of the campus, and the people I’ve met here have all been wonderful.” 

Rose was asked to return to the Kasich campaign during BGSU’s spring break but he had already made other plans. He’s hoping that another opportunity will come up in the future.