Millennials Matter: Drake Students Return from Party Conventions

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Some Drake University students are counting down the days before they head back to campus others are counting down the days until Election Day.

Five students university students attended, worked and contributed to the historic Republican and Democratic conventions this month.

Westhenry Ioerger, Iowa’s youngest republican national convention delegate is a sophomore at Drake. He recalls being at the convention “special.”

“Being around people who are difference makers, who will be difference makers in the future was really special and really gives me hope for what direction this country is going in,” said the 19-year-old from Hardin County.

Ioerger is business major but has a passion for politics. He was elected as an alternate delegate at the state convention in June. He says being a part of the party’s nomination process at the national level was learning experience.

“It was really eye opening to see how politics work from within the party and to see how a nominee is chosen. Most people don`t think about that on a day to day basis,” he says.

Democratic delegate and Drake sophomore, Josh Hughes, did his homework before choosing to run for a delegate position.

“I re-watched all the 2012 videos to see what it was like. I had really high expectations going into this and all my expectations were blown out of the water,” he says.

According to a recent Pew Research poll, millennials tie the baby boomers generation as the largest demographic to vote. The same research shows people 18 through 35- year-olds are less likely to vote compared to other generations. Hughes hopes this election year will be different.

“There were so many young delegates and it was so amazing to see,” he says. “That’s really something to be celebrated but I guess for the people that don’t really think millennials are getting involved, they are not really looking around."

Both students plan to get others actively involved in campus political groups in hopes for a strong college voter turnout in the fall.

Since 2015 leading up to the caucuses, Drake University has hosted 27 political rallies and events on campus.

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