University Democrats hosts political internship fair with guest speaker congressman Lloyd Doggett

Sunny Kim

U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) discussed Wednesday the stakes in the upcoming presidential election at the first University Democrats meeting of the year,

During the meeting, Doggett emphasized the need for student financial assistance, acknowledgment of the evidence for climate change and flexible immigration reforms. He also advised students to get involved in politics on the federal level by actively raise concerns to members of Congress. 

“I am excited to hear from a seasoned public servant like Lloyd Doggett,” said Joseph Trahan, communications director of University Democrats. “He has represented the Texas Democratic Party for many decades and effectively defends party values.”

Doggett serves in the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee. He is also a ranking member of the Subcommittee on Human Resources and received the 2015 “Congressional Champion for Real and Lasting Change” Award from Save the Children.

Trahan said University Democrats has helped Doggett register voters, meet politicians and hold leadership positions. 

“He’s a progressive Democrat,” Trahan said. “We believe that his political career and involvement in the community warranted having him speak at our first meeting of the new semester.”

University Democrats is a student-led organization that works to engage students in politics as well as support political candidates. Their first meeting began with a political internship fair outside Welch Hall where students participated in seeking internships and networking opportunities.

“Back home I was part of the Webb County Young Democrats,” business freshman Marco Guajardo said. “I wasn’t as involved there as I would have liked to have been, so here at the University I wanted to get involved in the beginning.”

For government freshman Yulissa Chavez, an interest in satirical writing got her involved in politics. 

“I was a political cartoon artist in seventh grade,” said Chavez. “I started to notice my knack for satire when I would read books, essentially by Margaret Atwood. She was my favorite satirical author.” 

Chavez also emphasized the need for a fresh supply of students to engage in policy, adding that the city of Austin provides good opportunities for activism because of its political atmosphere. 

“Being here at UT, especially in Austin, is a huge advantage,” Chavez said. “You get networks and you also get to connect with students that have the similar motive that you do.”