November 6 holds the promise of change for Maine, and Jordan Lantz ’15 is working to make sure his elections hopes are realized.
Along with three other Bowdoin students—Teresa Withee ’15, Jack Wostrel ’15 and Wrandi London ’15—Lantz is working with Mainers United for Marriage, a group campaigning in favor of Question 1, which would permit marriages between same sex couples. Bowdoin interns raise awareness about this important piece of legislation on campus.
Lantz speaks with different student groups and organizations at the College, encouraging group members to volunteer with the campaign and reminding them to vote.
“Our goal is to have 800 students at Bowdoin register to vote in Maine,” said Lantz. “It’s lofty, but it’s something I think we can do. We’re not asking people if they support the issue—we just want to make sure people have a voice.”
Lantz reports to the organization’s branch in Portland, though the majority of his intern responsibilities are here on campus. A few weeks ago, he had a chance to meet other campaign volunteers at a regional gathering, where both field workers and office workers shared why they believed it was important to get Question 1 passed.
“The meeting helped me contextualize that there’s a world out there that will benefit from what I as a Bowdoin student can do right now, even from campus,” Lantz said. “I think here at Bowdoin we can become complacent because we have many privileges, so it was humbling to realize how big of an issue Question 1 really is.”
Lantz has been passionate about politics since high school and plans to major in government and legal studies at Bowdoin.
He first found out about Mainers United for Marriage through a friend who works for Equality Maine. After doing some volunteer work for the campaign, the organization offered him an unpaid internship during the semester.
“I think this campaign is very historic for Maine, and I wanted to be a part of it in some way, shape or form,” said Lantz. “I didn’t expect this kind of leadership role on campus, but I’m very excited to continue it.”
With a heavy course load and a demanding schedule for crew practice, Lantz was initially hesitant about taking on the extra 10 hours of commitment per week.
“I asked myself, Would my schedule be able to handle it? Would my academics suffer? Would my involvement on the crew team suffer? Ultimately, I decided this was something I really wanted to do,” said Lantz.
Lantz unabashedly admits that he was first drawn to the idea of an internship because he saw it as a great addition to his resume.
“It’s definitely a nice little resume builder, but I think the biggest reason I chose this internship specifically, and not just anything, is because this issue is very important to me,” he said.
Lantz has been able to dig deeper into his interest in campaigning through both his courses in the goverment and legal studies department and the internship. As someone who is vocal and passionate about his political views, Lantz describes the internship as a perfect fit.
“I’ve always been a very opinionated person and never shied away from that. It gives me a great chance to express my views and try to understand other people’s views,” said Lantz.
“Sometimes we call people and have to understand they might come from very different backgrounds with different reasons why they don’t want to support this or volunteer and we have to understand that.”
The internship has not only exposed Lantz to a multitude of perspectives, but it has also helped him with time management. “I have really learned how to budget my time correctly. Now when I have an hour to spare, my mind immediately goes to either homework or the campaign.”
When asked what the downsides of his internship were, Lantz drew a blank. Instead, he offered enthusiastic encouragement to pursue an in-semester internship.
“You can never place credit or an amount of money in gaining this kind of experience,” he said. “Getting off campus and understanding there’s a community and world outside of Bowdoin has enriched my view of this area, my college experience, and my life living here.”