Pollock 2016: How a J-Term project became a campaign

Sam Pollock proves it doesn’t take a college degree to run for a political office.

The senior, who currently serves as a field operations director for U.S. Rep. Todd Young’s campaign for U.S. Senate, kicked off his junior year spring semester with an experiment. He wanted to know what would happen if a college student ran for political office.

But how could he answer his question? Well, by running for office himself.

Pollock entered the race for a Vigo County council at-large position in late January. What stemmed from a J-term project with Dr. Randall Smith, a political science professor, became a nearly four-month long venture.

Pollock is no novice to politics. Kicking off his career in 2012, he started volunteering for local campaigns, working the polls on Election Day and eventually earned an internship with Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb last spring.

It was during the 2012 election that Pollock discovered his passion for politics. But despite that admiration, he is still undecided on how he wants to spend his future.

Sam Pollock, senior. Photo by Jordan Brodner.

“I major in political science,” he said. “I’ve worked in different parts of government politics, and I had never done anything local—no local elections, no local political classes. This was a way to see if I liked it, and I found out I really do like it. As I keep on going, I find that I like campaigns way more than actual government office work.”

But no matter what field he enters, Pollock said there are two important lessons he has learned over time that could help him in all aspects of life.

“You have to be able to talk to people and be honest with them,” Pollock said.

With agoal of 4,000 votes for the May primary, Pollock reached between 3,500 and 3,600, a number he could be pleased with. And he said this was just one example of stepping in the direction of making a change.

Now, Pollock wants his peers to know it doesn’t take a campaign to make a change — it starts with people like him.

“If everyone, 18 to 22, would go vote, we would see a lot of issues solve and become more of a forefront,” Pollock said. “Until we do that, we’ll be ignored.”

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About Shelby Mullis 29 Articles
Shelby Mullis is the news editor for The Franklin. She has held various positions in multimedia journalism, most recently serving as a reporter at The Republic in Columbus during Summer 2017. Shelby is also a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, Franklin College's Indiana Statehouse news bureau, and was recently hired as a feature writer for the Franklin College Marketing and Communications Department. This is Shelby's second year in a leadership role and her third year on The Franklin staff. She previously held positions as a staff writer, assistant news editor and copy chief.

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