Congressman offers advice to NKU students

He has prosecuted a sitting president of the United States. He has successfully taken the battle against partial-birth abortions from legislative committee to the U.S. Supreme Court. He attributed both of these political successes to the lessons he learned as a student at Northern Kentucky University.

Congressman Steve Chabot (R) of Ohio’s first congressional district told these stories to students sitting where he once did when he attended law school at NKU’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law. The district Chabot represents includes a large part of the Cincinnati metropolitan area.
Students participated in a Q&A session with Chabot on Jan. 31 in Nunn Hall.

The event was held to coincide with the university’s decision to honor Chabot with the “Outstanding Alumnus Award for Chase College of Law.”

Students and faculty asked the congressman a variety of questions, ranging from concerns about health care reform and the current conflict in Egypt, to tips for success in their legal careers and finding jobs and internships in D.C.

Chabot told the audience that most students that find successful internships with congressional members through networking and not through resumes.

“We get a lot of resumes,” Chabot said, adding that most people who tend to work for him have gotten involved early on in the political process.

Chabot says those people did this by volunteering with campaigns and giving them a chance to get to know them and how they work.

However, Chabot told The Northerner that being apathetic about the political process can do much more than damage a student’s career opportunities.

“It’s not a very good choice to be apathetic or stay out of the process because when they do, somebody else is just going to make their decisions for them,” Chabot said.

The involvement of young people in the political process is essential, according to Chabot, because of the serious ways in which their lives are directly affected now.

“[F]olks that are younger tend to be the ones that are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s young people … having a tough time when they get out of college finding a job,” Chabot said, adding that government and politics is what impacts those circumstances.

For Chabot, the economy should be the single most important issue for young people today because it will affect their ability to be successful, even with a college degree.

“With this tough economy right now, it’s not a very bright picture at least for the next couple of years,” he said.

Chabot also said the young people need to be involved in the political process now because they are going to have to deal with the systems that he says are expected to fail, without reform, during their lifetimes, such as social security.

Story by Jesse Call