Beyond the Classroom: Ryan Clare and Ian Nielsen Canvassing for Bernie Sanders

Meet the partners and leaders of Rowan for Bernie at Rowan University — President Ryan Clare, a junior in Music Composition from Jackson (Ocean County), and Vice President Ian Nielsen, a senior with a major in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Allentown (Monmouth County).

Rowan for Bernie is a group dedicated to canvassing and talking to individuals around campus about their political ideals on Bernie Sanders and to help upcoming voters build their opinions leading to the upcoming election. Their mission is to network with as many people as they can to persuade and educate them in the hope to get votes for Bernie Sanders.

Ryan and Ian first met at a Bernie Sanders networking program, which helped students start groups and organizations in their colleges and provided the support and tools to help students understand canvassing. Through this meeting, Rowan for Bernie was created.

They were able to support a decent following on-campus with around 20 dedicated members going to club meetings as of now, and they look to further expand the organization.     

Ryan Clare, junior in music compositionRyan explains his passion for his position: “Bernie Sanders has inspired me to really get involved with the political process, and I feel like he is our one chance to get somebody into the White House that has been this consistent for his entire political career…

Ryan further adds, “…he has motivated me, and I feel like I have to fight as hard as I can to get this man elected.” 

Ian also shares why he wanted to get involved: “I wasn’t really super political, [but] I always was somewhat into politics all throughout my high school years.

Ian also explains his viewpoint: “I just really believe that it’s our responsibility as citizens to participate in the democratic process and make sure that people are taken care of. Bernie has Ian Nielsen, senior with a major in Electrical Computer Engineeringbeen consistent over the decades, whether it comes to talking about healthcare he’s been pushing for Medicare for all these years. He was on the right side of civil rights, which is something we can not say for other candidates. He has been pushing for $15 an hour wage, that’s something he has been pushing for years … He is not only pushing for these things in Congress but he is actually doing them right now.” 

One of their upcoming goals is to become a chartered organization at Rowan. As of now they have a petition with 200 signatures and are looking to propose their organization to the Student Government Association for further advancements.

With all the time put into the organization, they truly share a passion and work hard toward creating a bigger following and sharing some amazing experiences in the field. Ryan adds: “I’ve just really enjoyed canvassing and talking to new people, we openly will discuss ideas to people from very different political backgrounds … just really enjoyed sharing my views and backing them up with facts as opposed to just how I feel about things.” Ian further adds his most favorite experiences so far, “Just hearing people’s personal stories is just really moving and it really inspires me to keep pushing and try and make things better for everyone.”      

For now, they look to further expand their club and to help people understand the importance to participate in the election and to have fun doing it! 

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Story and photography by:
Adam Goskowsky, junior advertising major