STORY BY LAUREN VELASCO
Technology is becoming a major part of politics and the election season, and Yahoo News wants to see how this change impacts young student voters at Drake.
On November 12, Yahoo and several other news sources will be coming to Drake to speak with students about how technology works within the political realm.
“Yahoo News is hosting this conference to really dive into the future of elections, campaigns, and democracy in this country. That future is inevitably tied with technology and the digital sphere,” senior Brianna Steirer said.
Steirer hopes to have many students not only participate in the event, but also get involved in the political system.
“I’m really excited that news outlets are trying to help students get more connected to the political process,” said first year Jacob McKay.
Not much is known about what will occur at the conference, but several esteemed journalists and members of the press will be traveling with the Yahoo News team for the event.
“There is such an exciting lineup of experts in digital media, journalism, and communication strategy that will be attending this event,” Steirer said. “Some of the names that I’m most excited about are Katie Couric and Mike Isikoff, who are both journalists for Yahoo News.”
Other guests who will be in attendance include Mandy Finn, who was the digital strategist for both George W. Bush and Mitt Romney’s campaigns, and Nate Lubin, who was the former director of digital strategy for the White House. Students are encouraged to attend and interact with Yahoo News to see how technology is changing the way people look at politics.
“This is a really unique opportunity to engage with politics and the political system,” Steirer said. “I know that sometimes these politics events don’t really appeal to students that aren’t directly studying it, but we are looking forward to this event because it affects everyone and everyone can get something out of it.”
Along with hosting this event, Drake will also be hosting the Democratic debates, making Drake a very political atmosphere for students in the upcoming months.
“Yahoo and its staff have done most of the major planning for the event,” Steirer said. “What falls on our end is getting the word out to students and getting them excited about the opportunities here at Drake.”
Yahoo will bring in different strategies to get students involved, including social media contest and photo opportunities. This is a new opportunity for students whether or not they are interested in politics.
Aside from the event on November 12, students can also participate in a national contest to become one of five contributors for Yahoo News.
“You do not have to be a journalism student to enter and the winning prize is really special,” Steirer said. “The top five young journalists will get the chance to work with the top members of the Yahoo News editorial team as well as a trip to shadow one of Yahoo News’s best journalists.”
Yahoo continues to announce information regarding the event as Nov. begins.
“This is just the beginning,” said Megan Liberman, Yahoo news editor-in-chief, in the press release regarding the event. “We’ll have more guests and details as we head into November.”
Among those supporters was Student Body President Kevin Maisto.
Maisto wanted to attend the event immediately after hearing about it. For Maisto, this was a peek into the political scene.
“We at Drake, in Des Moines and even just in Iowa in general get to see so much more of the process that creates our government,” Maisto said.
“To get the opportunity to shake hands with, to meet, to interact with, to takes selfies with the people who are running to be the head of our government is huge.”
The three candidates were given the opportunity to talk through their platforms, which then invoked emotion in the form of chanting in the crowd. Maisto enjoyed this part of the dinner.
“You don’t do that (chant for a candidate) when it is a debate that you see on TV,” Maisto said. “You may get excited inside, but you don’t feel thousands of people chanting with the candidate.”
First year Mia Blondin was also in attendance of the event. She enjoyed watching the interaction of the candidates.
“(My favorite part was) watching the candidates poke fun at each other and members of the GOP, but then follow-up by mentioning their policy,” Blondin said. “They weren’t just tearing other people down, they were saying ‘I don’t agree with this and this is what I want to do to change it if