A few of our sisters from the Alpha Tau chapter at George Washington University had the opportunity to work for the Democratic or Republican National Convention this summer. Talia Balakirsky, Hannah Chait and Brooke Schwartz can all agree that they’ve learned a lot from working the 2016 conventions. Here’s what they had to say about their experiences.
Please note these opinions and views are those of the contributors and not of the National Organization.
I had the honor of working the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia. I spent my summer as an intern for the Association of State Democratic Chairs within the DNC. My tasks consisted of ensuring that the state parties and state chairs had the necessary trainings and resources for this election cycle. The week of the convention was remarkable. I had the opportunity to listen to incredible American leaders including the President, First Lady, and Vice President. Nothing can compare to the constant spontaneous celebrity sightings, consisting of politicians, television stars, and musicians. The most rewarding moment of the entire week was immediately following our nomination of the first woman presidential candidate of a major political party. Following the roll call vote on Tuesday afternoon, when Hillary Clinton secured the number of delegates to be declared nominee of the Democratic Party, women around the arena exchanged emotional hugs and shed tears of joy. This historical moment was magical. When balloons fell from the ceiling at the convention’s conclusion on Thursday evening, the room flooded with emotion once more, with men and women amongst our staff sobbing and embracing one another in celebration of this historic convention.
From Talia Balakirsky:
As an intern for Philadelphia Magazine, I was able to cover and report on the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. For me, the most interesting part was being able to watch as protests unfolded because it provided me with first-hand experience in how our democracy functions. The most rewarding part; however, was being able to report on so many powerful women as they told their stories throughout the Convention. As Hillary Clinton accepted the nomination for President, I was reminded that glass ceilings are becoming thinner. Being a sister of Sigma Delta Tau has reinforced the notion for me that women are able to do any job—and do it well. SDT was founded on the principal of empowering women; and being surrounded by so many accomplished women in my chapter and SDT as a whole has given me the drive to excel as a woman in my internship, and has provided me with experiences that will undoubtedly help me throughout my career.
Hannah has been interning with the Republican National Committee (RNC) since January, where she works in the legal department with just 11 other people. Hannah was able to sit front and center at the help desk panel for the Convention Committee on Rules, where delegates seek to amend the rules of the RNC for the Convention. She says, “Not only was I sitting front and center at the most heated and critical part of the convention (the rules), but I was also able to take part in the behind the scenes of how the amending process works.” Hannah also loved having full access to the floor of the convention and standing down with the delegation while Ivanka and Donald Trump spoke. Hannah believes that being a part of SDT, especially her current role as Standards chair for her chapter, has impacted her successes and career path thus far, noting that she was interested in trial law after many standards hearings. “I was able to take part in one of the most historic moments in our party’s history with some of the most important people in the political world today,” she says, “I have experienced how hard work pays off.”
These three inspiring sisters can all agree that SDT has a big impact in our lives, and qualities they’ve learned through the sorority are ones they’ll carry into their careers. We’re proud of our sisters covering the DNC and RNC!
No matter your political views, remember that your vote matters on November 8, 2016.
By Kelly Potts, Gamma Xi-Montclair State University (2015). Kelly is a volunteer feature and blog writer for Sigma Delta Tau.