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February 29, 1988 - Image 43

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-29

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Ir4L4
00N __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ _

IRA WYMAN FOR NEWSWEEK
Making contact: Simon, Dukakis

freeze for candidates-and students-to
rally around. Call it the Passion Gap.
But recent events have awakened stu-
dents' concern about crucial, if unglamor-
ous, issues. The stock-market crash, for
example, has stirred anxieties about the
budget deficit. "We realize that we and our
children will have to pay," says Bill Maer, a
junior from Clark working for Dukakis.
Black Monday also fueled skepticism
about the values of the bull-market 1980s.
Says Ken Fredette, New Hampshire youth
coordinator for Bob Dole and a 1987 gradu-
ate of the University of Maine: "I think the
pendulum is starting to swing away from
materialism, the fast dollar." Then there's
the Iran-contra affair, which has increased
students' anxieties about ethics in govern-

ment. In the NEWSWEEK ON CAMPUS Poll,
65 percent of students rated honesty as the
single most important quality they are
looking for in a president (page 24).
Many students are less interested in ad-
vancing any particular cause or candidate
than in acquiring the experience of a presi-
dential campaign. For them, political work
is an internship like any other. Several
colleges, including MIT and West Virgin-
ia's Bethany College, offered course credit
to students who campaigned during Janu-
ary break; all they had to do was write a
paper when they got back. Some partici-
pants openly admit that commitment to a
particular candidate mattered less to them
than the opportunity for interesting work.
"I feel like a traitor sometimes," confesses

DEAN SAITO
Jennifer Peck, a sophomore at Colgate
who's getting credit as a January intern for
Jack Kemp. Peck, who described herself as
an "independent," concedes that she is
more liberal than most of her fellow cam-
paign staffers. But the Kemp campaign
was small enough to afford her real respon-
sibility. In addition to canvassing, she has
helped write news releases.
Different campaigns attract distinctly
different personalities. Paul Simon's Man-
chester office has a vaguely bohemian air;
the carpet needs vacuuming, and in one
messy corner a guitar leans against a book-
case stocked with phone books, Lysol and a
can of sauerkraut. Clearly, cosmetics don't
matter. "After eight years of Ronald Rea-
gan, the television president," says Boston

tables in advance of their can-
didate's well-attended Decem-
ber speech.
The level of campus political
activity is also tied to the rela-
tive importance that candi-
dates attach to a state's prima-
ry-as well as the timing. So
far, for example, George Bush
is the only contender who
has visited Pittsburgh. Since
the field will be considerably
thinned by the time Pennsyl-
vania's primary arrives in
April, most students at Carne-
gie-Mellon say they don't want
to waste valuable free time
working for someone who may
well drop out of the race be-
cause of poor showings in Iowa
and New Hampshire. Similar-
ly, Ed Fitzgerald, president of

the Indiana University Col-
lege Democrats, has had no
luck in getting any candidate
to visit his campus. With the
state's primary scheduled for
the third week in May, Fitzger-
ald says, "Indiana's not exact-
ly the hottest place to go right

now. They'll come if it's still a
horse race when our primary
rolls around."
Since no one has found a
galvanizing issue in Cam-
paign '88, students appear to
be deciding whom to support
based on the qualities they

In the trenches: Stanford students register Alabama voters
AMY KILPATRICK

value in a candidate. "[Alex-
ander Haig] can take an hon-
est approach because he's not
part of the political establish-
ment," says UCLA senior
Lawrence Peck. Then there
are students like Charles Hat-
field, a Missouri junior who
admits he doesn't know what
he is looking for in a candi-
date because for more than a
third of his life he has experi-
enced . the decisions of only
one president: "It's hard for
students to judge what we
really want," says Hatfield.
"Since high school, all we've
known is Ronald Reagan."
cONNIE LESLIE With
SARAH OKESON in Evanston,
JOHN FRIFEDIMANNin Pittsburgh
and LAUREN LAZAROVICi
in Los Angeles
NEWSWEEK ON CAMPUS 23

MARCH 1988

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