For NYU College Republicans Vice President Megan Powers, politics are more than just a pass time.
“Politics is the most important thing that really exists in terms of studying,” said Powers.
Powers, who is a junior studying politics in CAS, says that her struggle as the VP of the NYUCR is to convince her fellow NYU students that this is true. To that end, the NYUCR holds policy pop quizzes, organizes speaking events and host regular meetings to discuss hot-button issues, all in an effort to start more dialogue about political affairs on campus.
Their most popular event, however, is their semi-annual debate with the NYU College Democrats, which Powers says is less contentious than it seems.
“We’re all friends; we appreciate that the other side is involved in affairs on campus,“ said Powers of the NYU College Democrats. “We all ultimately want the same thing at NYU, which is more active involvement in political affairs on campus.”
Powers says she knows firsthand how important it is to be politically aware because she had been relatively uninformed for most of her life. Powers says that she had her own political awakening when she realized how little she and her high-school classmates knew about American politics.
“In the 2008 presidential election I knew nothing about politics, really, just very vague notions,” said Powers. “But a lot of [my classmates] thought that they knew a lot about politics.”
After hearing some her classmates criticize Republican Presidential nominee John McCain, Powers started to wonder how anyone could vote for someone that her friends were so sure was terrible.
“I remembered asking one of my teachers who would vote for McCain and she said half the country,” said Powers. “I remember thinking that there’s no way that he’s that stupid if half the country is going to vote for him. That’s when I started to argue against them. I think it was necessary for these opinions to be heard—kind of like fighting for the underdog.”
Powers says that she continued to get invested in politics until she volunteered for a State Senate campaign in 2011—and hated it. After getting burned out by long hours going door-to-door for her candidate, Powers said that she almost threw in the towel.
“I was going to go to NYU and study film and television and I kind of say with that for two or three months but then I realized that, to me, politics is the most important thing that really exists in terms of studying,” said Powers. “That’s when I knew that, even though I kind of hated it, I was married to it forever.”
Now that she’s committed to politics, Powers says that she has big plans for the future.
“I want to work in politics first, do campaign consulting or political strategy but then ultimately I do plan to run,” said Powers. “When I’m a little more wise.”