Apply Now
Home > News >

Campaigns with GenJ: Dancing on TV and Dog Chases

November 11th, 2010

By Mike Ciandella; originally published in PHC Herald Nov. 5, 2010. Pics by Betsy Reich.

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722
OfficeOfCommunications@phc.edu

Bookmark and Share 

Generation Joshua student action team in Washington state. PHC students Betsy Reich (front left), Sarah Chaffee (purple shirt, front row), and Jason Lloyd and Nicholas Barden (front right)

This midterm election last week brought the biggest change to the House of Representatives since 1994. Republicans wound up winning six seats in the Senate and 60 seats in the House, as well as seven gubernatorial races.

Working towards this Republican surge, dozens of PHC students travelled to other states to lead Student Action Teams (SAT) of Generation Joshua homeschoolers. The students wound up making hundreds of calls over the course of Election Break, so many that they could recite their scripts in their sleep.

“[One homeschooler] was sleep-talking the script we were given,” said sophomore Jason Lloyd of one member of his team.

Did they have a positive impact?

Sophomore Jason Lloyd mans the phones in Washington State

“The guy running our group said that voter turnout clearly rose in the districts we visited and called,” said senior Tim Hrushka.

“We won by a 25 point margin, which is amazing,” said junior Bekah Di Sipio, who travelled to the 17th district of Texas to help campaign for Republican Bill Flores in the Congressional elections there. “Flores earned 62 percent of the vote to Edwards’ 37 percent.”

The teams of homeschoolers were highly motivated, but sophomore James Flath still saw reason to motivate them further. “I told them that if they didn’t lose their voices cheering for the candidate, they wouldn’t get to eat. Half of them lost their voices,” Flath said. The others got their food anyways.

Even with all the work, PHC students managed to have fun and make memories. Flath even managed to get his dancing skills on a local television station.

But not every voter was happy to see the SATs.

“We were getting flipped off by grandmothers worried about their social security,” said junior Matthew Maule. Senior Erin Pradia’s team in Southern California was questioned multiple times by the local police. Even the animals could turn out to be hostile.

“A big, black dog with rippling muscles chased [freshman] John Ehret. He hopped in a car and drove away,” said freshman Chaedon Laman.

But at the end of the trip, most students came back with enjoyable memories and lots of good stories.

“My voice is shot, and that is a telling sign,” Pradia said after getting back on campus. “It was a great experience.”