A Swing State for College

Republican, Democrat, Tea party, independent, anarchist?  No matter how much someone professes to care nothing about politics or celebrity, there’s nothing quite like meeting the President of the United States of America.

The office, said to be one of, if not thee, most powerful position in the world brings a certain amount of style and pomp and allure regardless of who is holding office.  When the President is in town, there’s an excitement in the air, an energy unlike anything I’ve been a part of elsewhere.

The opportunity presented to students who attend colleges in “swing states” is darn-right impressive.  Augustana, being located a short bridge ride across the Mississippi River from Iowa – where the first presidential caucus is held  and one of the important swing states in any election sits – affords our students the opportunity to brush with the highest office in the land on a regular basis.

The opportunity for students to make a difference in an election campaign, to hear the voices of the candidates LIVE, to participate in the great noisy process that is the campaign trail is unique and impressive…it’s all here for months prior to November of election year…and, really it’s all here for the years in between as parties prepare for the next run.

The opportunity a four year college in a swing state provides is the promise of at least one Presidential election near you for every student. The current president will be here.  The vice president will be here. The opponent will be here. Likely even former presidents and speakers of the house and high ranking politicians from across the country will be here. And, especially as a student, you can be a part of it all.

When you are considering a college – have you thought about the opportunity to be part of political history?  If you’re interested in politics, you definitely should weigh the “swing state factor” into your college search. But even if you are a major not focused on political science or law – consider a “swing state” college. There’s something about being part of the political machine – even once in your life – that stirs a passion for our nation, our freedom and the excitement of being in the presence of political power.

“I just shook hands with the PRESIDENT!”…regardless of party affiliation…kicks up the excitement in your day.  And couldn’t we all use a bit of positive energy as it relates to our political process?  So, I say, choose a college with “swing state” reach and experience the excitement of election season up close.


About meghancooley

Meghan Cooley has worked in admissions for over 15 years. She's served in a variety of roles, ranging from tour guide to admissions counselor to her most recent position as Director of Admissions and Recruitment. Through many admissions cycles - she's experienced the ebb and flow of the higher education landscape in the Midwest, become an expert on family dynamics within the college search, guided many through the details of the college search and witnessed the joy and disappointment of student college decisions.

Now, as the Director of Recruitment Communication and Manager of social media at Augustana College, Meghan and her team of talented students focus on marketing Augustana to prospective families, educating families about the college search process, and enhancing professional development opportunities in the profession. She is passionate about increasing diversity (socio-economic and ethnic) in private higher education, alleviating the fears and frustrations that often come with a college search (especially in first generation families), and above all, helping students find the best fit for them as they explore all the educational opportunities available.

Meghan often invites guest bloggers mostly including Augustana admissions staff and current students to contribute. The talented students and staff offer a perspective in the trenches of the college search and college experience.

A 1999 graduate of Augustana College, Meghan holds Bachelor's Degrees in English and Spanish. An avid international traveler, she recommends hiking the Inca Trail to Manchu Picchu in Peru, eating Gelato in Rome, Italy, and seeing an opera at the Volksoper in Vienna, Austria. She is married to Augustana graduate and Modern Woodmen project manager, Luke Cooley. They have three sons, Charles, Oliver and Bennett.

7 responses to A Swing State for College

  1. Augie Alum

    Good write, totally disagree with the graphic. Does the school officially endorse Obama? If so cool, if not very uncool. But don’t write about the joys of being in a swing state and show preference subtly to a candidate unless you officially support the candidate.

    • meghancooley

      Sorry you don’t like my graphic. It’s from a time when Obama, IL Senator, came to campus. I hoped my first paragraph about regardless of affiliation – meeting the president (which he is) is exciting and worthwhile – would help clear up any partiality. Thanks for the comment, though. Appreciated.

      • Augie Alum

        Pictures are worth 1,000 words. (I should come right out and say I voted for him and will vote for him again this year.) I would have opted for a more bi-partisan graphic, politics has become and ideology sadly and I would hate to see funding from Republican Alumnus dip; people get touchy when it comes to their money if they think the institution is anti their ideals.

    • Also Augie Alum

      If an elected public servant comes to campus, regardless of party or rank, you treat him with respect, and, yes, you offer him some parting token of the school (typically hat or shirt). As an elected president or senator it is totally appropriate to give the person a shirt and take a picture. Great article!

  2. Laurel

    If anything, Obama is endorsing Augustana in this photo, not the other way around. And he’s the president. Just saying. The point is that students would have the opportunity to brush shoulders with candidates such as Obama. The photograph is just an example of what you could see when attending a college near a swing state.

  3. Swing state neighbor

    Interesting debate, but we do have only one president currently. Preference or not, there is no debate on that issue. I’m sure if Meghan had a picture of any of the former presidents visiting campus, she would gladly have posted them in addition.

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