Students choosing ‘Paris on the Platte’ over Paris for off-campus ‘Swing Semester’

Our Center for Independent Media colleague and resident youth-vote expert Mike Connery writes about an innovative for-credit political opportunity for college students this election cycle. Colorado is among the five political swing states, including New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia, where the program is being launched.

Mike’s post at Future outlines the concept:

Swing Semester operates under one simple idea: what if you could do a semester abroad here at home? Instead of jetting off to Dublin or Rome and partying your brains out for three months while enrolled in light-weight pass/fail classes, what if you could travel to a battle ground state, receive a crash course in progressive politics (for credit), and make a difference in this Presidential election? Swing Semester exists to help young people do just that.

In short, 250 participants will be sent to cities in one of five battleground states where they will spend 10 weeks living with a host family. Based on their interests, participants will be placed in paid jobs on progressive campaigns or non profits where, for the remainder of the cycle, they will work their asses off for progressive change. They will knock on doors and make phone calls. Canvass concerts and bars and stand on street corners. They will attend trainings and lectures and form a community with their fellow participants, all while studying a for-credit curriculum designed to teach them the contours of the contemporary progressive movement.

The program is currently recruiting students to work on non-partisan progressive causes, issues and candidate campaigns and host families to provide free home-stays for them in Metro Denver.