Students Sacrifice For '92 Campaign

The Race for the Presidency

SALEM, N.H.--Angel Taveras '92 knows about sacrifice. To go door-to-door for Sen. Tom Harkin (D--Iowa) in the frigid streets of this Granite State community last weekend, the Leverett House resident had to sacrifice his Saturday, his warmth and possibly his limbs.

"The guy wouldn't open the door and I could hear the dog barking," Taveras said, describing the first house on his assigned route. "I thought we might see the headline, `Harkin Supporter Gets Killed by Dog."

Like Taveras, many college students have flocked to New Hampshire cities large and small during the past month, hoping to make a difference in next Tuesday's presidential primaries.

And whether they come for the duration of the campaign or for so-called "invasion weekends," these students share the same "sacrificial" experiences: 16-hour days, scut work, cramped living conditions, fast food diets, lukewarm parental support and, sometimes, politically close-minded canines.

Richard L. Strauss, a senior at the University of California, Los Angeles, arrived in Manchester three weeks ago to work full-time at Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton's Manchester headquarters. He was told he'd be working up to 14 hours a day.


In fact, the political science major said, "I've been working 16 hours a day."

His duties in the office's press division include monitoring news-casts, working with radio stations and faxing newspaper clippings to Clinton's Arkansas headquarters.

Taveras' visit, in contrast, was a one-day affair in which student volunteers were given "walk decks" containing the names and addresses of all registered Democratic and independent voters in a given neighborhood. Their job was to find out who each voter favored and to answer any questions about Harkin.

And outside New Hampshire, some students' work is a little more glamorous. Ethan J. Zindler '93, a governmentconcentrator, has taken this entire academic yearoff to work as the assistant press secretary inClinton's Little Rock, Arkansas headquarters.

Zindler, who was a visiting student at Harvardfrom the University of Wisconsin, said last weekthat he performs many press-related functions,including lining up reporters to travel withClinton. Still, there are some tasks Zindler doesnot handle.

"I do not talk on record to major reportersbecause if I fuck up, we could lose the campaign,"Zindler said in a phone interview from littleRock. "There are only four people in the entirecampaign who talk on the record."


James M. Harmon '93-'94, president of CollegeDemocrats of America, is also taking time off totravel the campaign trail, but is unaffiliatedwith any particular candidate.

Instead, Harmon advises various Democraticcampaigns, "trying to get more young peopleinvolved," he said.

Harmon, who plans to return to Harvard nextspring, said getting students involved is oftendifficult.

"It's undeniably a little confusing," Harmonsaid. "There is a group of people that arepartisan but not committed to one candidate."