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Campbellsville University political science students learn from Iowa State Caucus

Campbellsville University political science students learn from Iowa State Caucus
Students from Campbellsville University travelled to Iowa for the state caucus. From left are,
Williams, Madison James, Carson Kovalic, Jason Beasley, Rebeca Scurt, Lydia Manley and Malcom Walker. (Campbellsville University Photo by Azucena Trejo Williams)

By Matthew Taylor, student news writer, Office of University Communications

Campbellsville Ky. – Campbellsville University political science students learned about politics as they attended the Iowa State Caucus Jan. 29-Feb. 3.

Dr. Shawn Williams, associate professor of political science, one of the leaders of the trip, said, “The trip gave the students a chance to see how politics work and how the Democratic Party process works.”

He was accompanied on the trip by Azucena Trejo Williams, assistant professor of art and design.

The six students were Jason Beasley, a junior of Richmond, Ky.; Madison James, a sophomore of Campbellsville, Ky.; Carson Kovalic, a senior of Winchester, Ky.; Lydia Manley, a senior of Russellville, Ky.; Rebeca Scurt, a senior of Austria; and Malcom Walker, a junior of Cynthiana, Ky.

Campbellsville University political science students learn from Iowa State Caucus 1
Constituents gather in the Kohawks’ gym hosting Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Feb. 1. (Campbellsville University Photo by Carson Kovalic)

Since 1972, Iowa has always held the first caucus for the Democratic Party. A caucus is held in each state for the first part of the nomination of candidates for the Democratic Party.

This was the second time Campbellsville University students were able to go to the Iowa State Caucus.

The students worked together to decide what events would be in the itinerary for the trip.

They were able to attend eight rally events for the caucus. Each event took roughly four hours allowing the students two events for each day up to the caucus.

Students stayed in three different places, Bettendorf, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines in Iowa, but they travelled to seven different places within Iowa to be at each event on the itinerary.

The students were able to see each of the candidates who were in the running to be a nominee for the Democratic Party. Some of the candidates did a meet and greet after their rally was over, allowing the students to interact with them.

“I was able to learn a lot about the candidates themselves, but also learn about the rallies they held,” Manley said. “Learning how the caucus system compares to a primary system was also really awesome to experience too.”

Some of the students reported the caucus event was very chaotic.

“The actual caucus was pretty chaotic, and it showed me why the results took so long to come in,” Manley said.

“Another issue was a noticeable lack of organization,” James said. “Different groups were going about the process differently; there wasn’t really any communication between organizers.”

“It was apparent that there was a much larger turnout than expected,” Scurt said. “Some people had to caucus out in the hallway, which made finding out who was voting for who difficult.”

“Given the ordeal and chaos surrounding the caucuses, I feel that Iowa will lose its first-place spot in the caucus in future years,” Kovalic said.

The students reported what happened at the caucus events through the CU PoliSci twitter account: @CUPoliticalSci #CUinIowa.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 11,600 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has Kentucky based off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. Out-of-state centers include two in California at Los Angeles and Lathrop, located in the San Francisco Bay region.  The website for complete information is

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