Camden Olsen, a recent transfer from Ithaca College to the University of Maine, is a second-year political science student originally from Yarmouth, Maine. Olsen is particularly interested in voting rights and legislation as well as getting students more involved in the process.
“Voting is something people should not only care more about, but engage with actively. It gives everyone a voice and it’s our civic duty,” Olsen said.
With only about half of young people ages 18 to 29 voting in the last presidential election, voting education is extremely important to have a more informed and actively-participating society.
Olsen also has been spreading awareness that if you are of legal voting age and live in Maine, you can easily register to vote by printing and filling out a voter registration form. Then, simply mail the form to your local election office. If more inclined, people are able to register to vote in person as well. He stresses the importance of encouraging voter registration, because every year people fail to register and that is forgoing a crucial duty we are given as U.S. citizens as well as giving up our voice in government.
As a student of political science as well as an Honors College student and an active member of the Pre-Law Society, Olsen is on his way to pursue his dream career of becoming an immigration lawyer.
His interest in immigration law sparked after Olsen did some work in Susan Collins’ office in Portland, Maine. When working in the office, he helped immigrants and their families and it inspired him to pursue a career in it.
Olsen is very involved here on campus in student clubs and societies. He is also an honors ambassador for the Honors College and hopes to be a DJ on the club radio station. Student involvement and getting every student on campus involved is very important to Olsen.
Olsen believes it should be a priority for UMaine to start incorporating more student involvement options.
“I think they should press for student involvement beyond the club fair to boost student activities across the board. Students shouldn’t be going from the class to the dorm on a loop day by day,” Olsen said.
In having every student participate in something besides just going to class. It could create a healthier environment on campus and help bring the student body closer together. It would also promote mental and physical wellness, and help students feel more at home on a campus that may be foreign to them.
As a transfer student himself, this is Olsen’s first semester on campus, so he has fresh insight on what it feels like to get involved in campus activities when you are new here. Olsen was open about being apprehensive before coming to UMaine and worrying about fitting in with the crowd here.
He also reports that after being here for a month, he feels like he is finding his groove and getting along well with people.
In Olsen’s free time, he loves to unwind by taking a walk outside while listening to music, or hitching rides off-campus from his friends who have cars. Olsen eventually plans to start indoor rock climbing at the Maine Bound Adventure Center as well.
After becoming more oriented with campus life this semester, Olsen hopes to start volunteering next semester. He hopes to get involved helping victims of domestic violence as well as help people who experience food insecurity in the region.
Olsen’s advice for students first coming to campus is to get involved in any way possible. It is the best way to meet people and even if it is nerve-wracking at first, it all pays off. If things ever feel overwhelming, Olsen recommends simply taking a break outside, because fresh air really is a cure-all.
A last message Olsen wanted to add is the link for voter registration which ends on election day Nov. 8 https://www.usa.gov/voter-registration.