Under the Dome

NC college students get political lessons in Iowa

Students from North Carolina universities are getting a front row seat to the frenzy of the Iowa caucus.

Ten political science majors from Appalachian State University traveled to the Hawkeye State with professors Philip Ardoin and Paul Gronke as part of a course called “The Iowa Project.” They’re acting as observers and documenting their experiences on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #App2Iowa. The students have been in Iowa several days in locations near Iowa City.

Nearly two dozen Wake Forest University were also in Iowa as part of a course taught by Melissa Harris-Perry, the MSNBC host who also is the Presidential Endowed Professor in Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest. The group will travel to New Hampshire, South Carolina and back to North Carolina to follow primaries as part of a yearlong program called Wake the Vote.

The Wake Forest students are doing a little more than observing. They’re randomly assigned as volunteers with various presidential campaigns. The idea is to immerse students in the “ground game,” while exposing them to diverse points of view. The assignments will be shifted among students in each early voting state. Students posting to social media using #WaketheVote and their Twitter handle is @WaketheVote.

Judging from their Twitter feeds and Instagram accounts, students from both groups were having a ball on Monday. They tweeted selfies with Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio, as well as Sarah Palin, who was attending a rally for Donald Trump.