CHARLOTTE -- The 2012 Democratic National Convention will give North Carolina college students a unique chance to get involved in politics. Work is already under way to recruit the army of volunteers needed to put on an event this size, and educators are looking to help link their students to the DNC.
"The ones right around Charlotte will have the opportunity to get their students more intimately involved," said Chalmers Brumbough, Professor of political science at Elon University. "And the one that has come forward to be most identified with the convention is the University of North Carolina at Charlotte."
He also cites The Washington Center as an example of how third-party entities help provide staffing for conventions.
Eric Heberlig, Associate Professor of political science at UNC Charlotte, hopes to work with the Washington Center.
"Students will have ample opportunity to volunteer and, we hope, intern at the convention," Heberlig said. "Right now we're working out ways and infrastructure here at the university to recruit students for that and link them to the DNC for opportunities to work at the convention."
Heberlig says both the Democrat and Republican parties rely heavily on students to help during their national conventions. He expects the DNC to recruit about 10,000 volunteers.
College students are a key voting bloc for the Democratic Party. During the 2008 election, roughly 75 percent of North Carolina voters ages 18-29 supported Barack Obama for president. According to CNN exit polls, that margin was about 500,000 votes.
Obama edged Republican Sen. John McCain by only 14,000 votes in N.C.