UM Junior Selected to Inaugural Student Advisory Board

UM Junior, Stefanie Rodriguez, Selected to Inaugural Student Advisory Board
By Andres Tamayo

UM Junior, Stefanie Rodriguez, Selected to Inaugural Student Advisory Board

UM Junior Selected to Inaugural Student Advisory Board

By Andres Tamayo
Stefanie Rodriguez, a political science major, has been selected to the Campus Vote Project’s inaugural Student Advisory Board.

Stefanie Rodriguez, a junior and political science major at the University of Miami, has been selected to the Campus Vote Project’s (CVP) inaugural Student Advisory Board. CVP works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting and to help campuses institutionalize reforms that empower students with the information they need to register and vote.

Rodriguez started as a Democracy Fellow with CVP and helped round up roughly 150 student pledges to vote in last year’s presidential election. On campus, Rodriguez followed her passion for politics and worked tirelessly at UM to help register a school record 2,000 student voters through the University’s Get Out the Vote (GOTV) student organization. 

GOTV is a nonpartisan campaign headed by students with the aid of the University’s administration to reach out to the student population and encourage them to get involved in the political process. 

“I am extremely proud of our students for making their voice heard in this election,” Rodriguez said in a recent interview. She understands the importance of democracy, being born to two Cuban parents who escaped the dictatorship of Fidel Castro in Cuba.

Through much of her and GOTV’s efforts, the Watsco Center precinct -- one of three precincts where students could vote -- saw 82 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot. This percentage of voters ranked No. 12 out of 784 precincts in Miami-Dade County. 

Rodriguez has always had an affinity for a good argument and thought law might be in her future, but something kept drawing her into politics. In high school, she was offered an in-person opportunity to watch President Barack Obama’s second Inaugural Address in 2013 and took it.

“I had never been so excited to wake up at 2 a.m. in my life,” she said as she recalled how the whole day started. The “awesome” experience left her more interested in politics and eventually led her to a political science major at UM.

Rodriguez is also a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity that focuses on bettering the community on campus and in the Greater Miami area, and is also a contributing writer for HerCampus, a global student online publication about young women’s lifestyle.

In addition to advocating for UM students to vote and stay involved in the political process, Rodriguez is also a history minor and plans to attend graduate school for political science. While she won’t be attending UM, she sees it as a new chapter in her life and is looking forward to new opportunities.

For more information on Get Out the Vote, visit: http://www.sarc.miami.edu/studentorganizations/sites/getoutthevote/Home.aspx