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Humans of Drake: Emilyn Crabbe

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Highlighting the stories of Drake students and faculty.

BY HALLIE O’NEILL

Emilyn Crabbe, a first-year strategic political communications (SPC) and sociology double major, chose Drake for one particular thing: politics.

“I’m really passionate about the links between the people and the government, so the campaign process, voting process, voter turnout and things of that nature,” Crabbe said.

She’s certainly in the right place. She noted that Drake’s location had everything to do with her decision. She’s already looking forward to the next election, during which she’ll be a senior at Drake.

She’s originally from West St. Louis, Missouri where she lives with her parents and her sixth-grader brother, whom she lovingly dubbed her “best friend.”

She admitted the transition from living at home to living on her own was difficult.

“I’m learning a lot about myself and how I process challenges, because it hasn’t been the easiest, honestly,” Crabbe said. “I knew it wouldn’t be, because I’m really connected to my roots and my family.”

But she’s quickly finding herself wrapped up in her interests here on campus. Apart from being a member of Drake’s Rainbow Union, singing in the Drake Chorale and working at Cowles library, she already has high ambitions to work on campaigns in the future.

When I asked Crabbe if she has a favorite campaign from years past, she answered without hesitation: “Bernie.”

“I saw a lot of my friends, people my age, getting involved and interested in politics because of him, and I thought that was really important,” Crabbe said. “Like I said, my biggest passion is getting people involved in politics because there’s such a big divide between the people and the representatives at this point. They don’t want to be involved in politics because it sucks, it’s no fun.”

But Bernie Sanders’ campaign, which she praised for its everyday person appeal and transparency, changed many of those things for her. Plus, she said, she likes an underdog.

In her free time, she watches a political show from the 1990s called The West Wing, which she claims sparked a large portion of her current political intrigue. By expressing her interest about the show online, she connected with like-minded students in Washington D.C. who have become mentors to her.

Crabbe is a fierce advocate for LGBTQ rights, especially in LGBTQ youth. For three years, she was a co-leader of her high school’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) group.

The impact she had on her high school peers, she said, is what fueled her desire to actively pursue human rights issues in her adult life.

“I remember the first meeting of my senior year a bunch of new girls came in, and they were like, ‘We don’t want our parents to know we’re here, we don’t want our friends to know we’re here,’ and that was the same position I was in when I came in my first meeting freshman year,” Crabbe said. “So, that was really heavy.”

She expressed enthusiasm about the next four years, and she hopes to develop her advocacy for representative politics and human rights.

“I want to leave a mark,” Crabbe said. “I don’t want to go through college and not have affected anybody. Whatever I end up doing, I want to be really good at it.”

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