AP Government students participate in city election


Sam Medved

On November 5, RHS AP government students helped run the U.S. general election by working in voting precincts throughout the Rochester community.

AP government teacher Mrs. Laura Matthews believes that it is important for her students to have the opportunity to participate in government events.

“I believe hands-on, real world experience allows students to apply what they are learning in class; and it prepares them to be active participants in society,” Mrs. Matthews said. “Learning election laws and everything that goes in to planning for and running an election is a significant part of our state and local government responsibilities.”

Similar to Mrs. Matthews, RHS junior Nicholas Ang finds it important for students to be active within the community; however, Ang does not believe the election was the ideal way for students to get involved.

“Student involvement is important to each new generation. It allows students to grow as individuals,” Ang said. “The election allowed that, but there are better ways to do it,”

Students, such as RHS junior Kennedy Williams, spent their day at the precinct interacting with and learning from a variety of people within the Rochester community.

“I got to meet people who have lived in Rochester for over 50 years and hear their perception of how the city is changing,” Williams said.

Mrs. Matthews encourages that students take the opportunity to work during elections not only for its educational benefit, but also because she believes it is important for students to be exposed to the Rochester community.

“I do think it gives job experience and exposure to the community,” Matthews said.  “Students had a great time talking to older members of Rochester Hills; I think it gave them a nice insight and appreciation.”

Although RHS junior Leslie Waldron did not find the election process exciting, she would advise other students to participate during the next election.

“I would recommend it for others because it’s a good learning experience,” Waldron said. “It was a long and slow day, but despite that, it was fun and a great working environment. It felt really nice to be able to contribute my time to the community.”

On the other hand, Ang did not find the experience beneficial enough to recommend it to all of his peers.

“I would only recommend doing it for a presidential election if you want to do actual work,” Ang said. “I wouldn’t make time for it.”

Although the students that participated in the opportunity seem to have varying opinions regarding their jobs during the election, Mrs. Matthews will continue to provide the experience as a way to get students involved.

“This support and connection with Rochester Hills gives students great exposure to community issues/events and activities,” Matthews said. “The more exposure RHS students can have in the community, the better. RHS has truly amazing kids; and I want our community to see that, but also feel that.”