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IU students travel to Iowa to volunteer for Sanders campaign



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Freshman Ila Das sits Feb. 4 in Wells Library. She was one of the IU students who traveled to Iowa by bus to canvass for the Bernie Sanders campaign Feb. 2. Raegan Walsh

IU freshman Ila Das and junior Thomas Pawlowski traveled six hours by bus Sunday morning to Iowa to canvass for Sen. Bernie Sanders campaign before the caucuses happened Monday. 

“We get to the support headquarters, and it's overflowing,” Pawlowski said. “This was my first real time being politically active, and it did not let down."  

Canvassing is a way for politicians and their supporters to get in direct contact with the community to promote their causes. Das said she canvassed about 200 houses during her daylong trip. 

Campaign buses from the Sanders campaign were set up to bring people from surrounding states to Iowa to canvass, Das said.

According to TIME, the Sanders campaign goal was to knock on 500,000 doors before the caucus, and by January canvassers had knocked on 400,000 doors.  

Both students said they noticed differences between politics in Iowa and Indiana, such as the people being willing to talk to canvassers and learn more when their door was knocked on. 

“The political climate in Iowa really surprised me because Iowa isn’t a very revolutionary state. I was genuinely surprised at how many people were interested in what we had to say,” Das said. “If you knock on the door, people are going to listen and take the pamphlets and hear your views.”

The students said canvassing is just another way for people in the community to be politically active and to motivate others to do their civic duty. 

Laura Stancato, a member of the Civic Leaders Center at IU, said canvassing is important because there's nothing as personal as face-to-face communication.

“It’s the best way to spread a message and truly connect with the person you’re trying to reach,” Stancato said.

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