Scott Wilhite of Mount Pleasant, a Texas A&M University-Texarkana political science major, recently participated in the New Politics Forum Campaign Bootcamp hosted by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin.
The Campaign Bootcamp provides students a hands-on experience about successfully coordinating political campaigns for elected positions and issues. Well-known campaign practitioners, including some who worked on the campaigns of Barack Obama, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, presented lessons and held workshops.
Topics included managing a campaign, crafting a campaign narrative, developing a field plan, supervising volunteers and fundraising. Students also ran mock campaigns, competing against each other using actual voter data from specific Texas districts and making final presentations.
“It was fun and I’m glad I went. I’ll go back next year I’m sure,” Wilhite said.
Dr. Gary Bugh, A&M-Texarkana political science professor and pre-law adviser, serves as A&M-Texarkana’s New Politics Forum liaison, coordinating students’ participation in the three-day nonpartisan event. The Strauss Institute provides scholarships to cover students’ meals and housing.
“The annual Campaign Bootcamp in Austin is a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn about political campaigning,” Dr. Bugh said. “The bipartisan approach encourages a great deal of student engagement and civic discourse at the training. Everyone who has attended tells me they’ve gotten a lot out of it.”