During a student’s time at university, they hope to gain an in-depth knowledge about their area of focus. In addition to theoretical knowledge, many hope to have opportunities to gain practical and real-world experience in their major.
Marlon Alexis Merida Morales, junior in political science with an emphasis in international studies, had the opportunity to get a start in the political world by interning with Congressman Roger Marshall’s U.S. senate campaign over the summer as a field representative with the Wichita field team.
“It touched a lot of fields such as door knocking, canvasing, doing phone banking… and also attending Dr. Roger Marshall’s events and helping out with anything he needed,” Merida said.
Merida met Marshall while attending a GOP convention in Olathe, Kan. in February.
“…that’s where I started getting in contact with his team,” Merida said. “During a zoom call with the College Republicans, he told us if we wanted to work on his campaign, so I applied… I did two interviews and I got the job.”
Merida said he wanted to work for Marshall as he agreed with his policies and thought the fact that he is already a congressman made him a good candidate.
“If I believe in a cause, then I will work hard for it to fruition,” Merida said.
He also thought the internship would help in his future career goals.
“I needed to get an entry into politics, so I think that’s a good way to get started in politics and get connections,” Merida said. “It will help me a lot because I have political connections already, which can facilitate me into getting an internship in Washington D.C., maybe next year.”
Merida was able to spend his summer gaining experience in the world of politics, and he enjoyed the experience.
“My favorite part of the internship was talking to people, it was really interesting to learn about other people’s political views, and also spending time with Congressman Roger Marshall,” Merida said.
Merida is involved in various political organizations on campus. He is the president of the Model United Nations vice president of the College Republicans, and Senator elect of the Student Government Association (SGA).
“He’s very diligent in coordinating the club and works hard to keep the club going and getting everything ready before the conference last semester,” said Adam Bilinski, instructor of political science, who serves as Merida’s academic advisor and acts as advisor for the Model U.N. “He also recruited new members.”
Bilinksi believes Merida was able to get the internship due to his experience and skills.
“He’s very task-orientated,” Bilinski said. “He’s committed to his party, the Republican party… He has great people skills, task orientated people skills…”
Merida believes working with the campaign over the summer helped him develop essential skills for his profession.
“It helped me with public speaking and dealing directly with voters,” Merida said. “Sometimes voters can get angry and you just need to figure out a way to properly connect with them.”
Months of work from the campaign and interns reaped positive results, as Marshall won the Republican candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
“It was an amazing moment, we worked really hard for two entire months and just that everything paid off at the end of the day and now he’s the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, and that makes me very proud and happy at the same time,” Merida said.
Merida will continue to be involved in politics and work with Marshall’s Senate campaign throughout the semester, mainly making phone calls. He believes that students, even if they’re not studying it, should be involved in politics.
“I think it’s important for students to be involved (in politics), because college students are the future of this country and it’s important for them to be aware of the current situations that our country faces..,” Merida said. “Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, it’s important for you to cast your vote and fight for what you believe in. The 2020 elections are unlike no other, make your vote count.”