Paul Suitter ’09 pursues a career in politics

During the presidential primary campaign, the Obama camp contacted the Bates Democrats and asked if we would host Ted Kennedy’s visit to Lewiston. For a second, I was awestruck. Then I said, “Absolutely!” We had just 22 hours to arrange security and publicity, but the Bates network is so tight that it was easy to spread the word. We filled the chapel and even had to turn people away.

I’ve always been interested in politics, and I like to be involved in my community. I’m a school board member in my hometown and I make the 3 ½-hour trip once a month for meetings. Here, I’ve been with the Bates Democrats and the Bates College Student Government all four years.

Last year I was elected Student Government president. Our most challenging issue is disbursing $300,000 among the more than 100 student clubs. Our decision has a direct impact on the community. That’s one of the most interesting things about Bates: we have a voice in important matters affecting students’ lives and the college’s future.

I’m a politics major. Two summers ago I apprenticed with Professor John Baughman, conducting research for his book on the development of Congress. Last summer I interned in Washington, D.C. for Maine Congressman Mike Michaud. They had me doing a lot of writing. The only other intern who did that much writing was another Bates student, Michael Petrick ’09. That’s when it hit me how Bates, by challenging us to write at a high level, prepares us for the real world.

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