Miss Emily Campanelli is a 20-year-old sophomore from Chicago. She’s here on a lacrosse scholarship and majors in political science. She is an active member in multiple organizations on campus. She’s excited to uplift and transform the political climate on campus as vice president of the sophomore class.
Hornet: Can we meet the woman behind the face? Where were you born and what was your upbringing like?
Emily: I was born in the western suburbs of Chicago. My upbringing was upper middle class. I was very privileged as a child I have great parents and a great family home.
Hornet: Were they supportive of you coming to Delaware State?
Emily: Definitely. My mother especially. My brother went to school in Colorado, and my sister went to school in Tennessee, so we’re all over the map. She was like, oh East Coast, finally! So, that was a big contributor. My dad’s originally from Brooklyn, New York so he was excited for me to be on the East Coast again.
Hornet: Who has been the greatest influence in your life that has impacted the woman you are today?
Emily: Definitely, my mother, she has impacted me tremendously. Especially, who I am today, I’m very politically outspoken and that was influenced by her. She’s done so much for our community and Chicago. She’s a political influence throughout the city. She had a huge impact on me as a child watching her go to marches, social justice advocate communities and doing everything she does today.
Hornet: Do you do a lot for the community?
Emily: Yes, especially coming from Chicago there’s many impoverish neighborhoods and violence seen throughout the city. There’s a lot of political figures trying to help our city with empathetic hearts towards the violence and poverty. I’ve participated in every woman’s march, fight against violence, and rally against gun violence.
Hornet: So, are you interested in taking your enthusiasm to Delaware State University as sophomore class vice president?
Emily: Yes, definitely. My freshman year, I immediately ran for freshman class vice president and that spring I ran again for sophomore class vice president. I think my biggest reason was my love for politics, I wanted to bring that into student government. A lot of the time, it’s just planning events which is great, but I really think student leadership should coincide with political intelligence and affluence. I really wanted to do events that relate to politics and bring in speakers. I’ve made so many connections in the political science department to bring into student government. It’s really something I wanted to change when I ran for my current position.
Hornet: Do you work with the president a lot and do you like him?
Emily: Yes, I love my president. He’s just as hardworking and motivated as me. He’s as politically influenced as I was and it’s nice to have intelligent conversations pertaining to the political climate of America today. We see that there’s this huge divide in America for multiple reasons. He’s very much on the same page as me, we never argue. He’s a great co-partner.
Hornet: Can you tell us of your education history and what your goals or life ambition was when you were a student in High School/College?
Emily: Since I was emerging into high school, I always knew I wanted to go into politics unlike my siblings. I always watched the news growing up and adapted my political ideals from my mother and father. As soon as high school hit, I knew politics was what I wanted to do. I wanted to be empathetic towards everyone else and I think that trait really coincides with politics. I got voted most likely to be president in high school. It started from a young age that I knew what I wanted to do which was great because a lot of people are unsure. I’m grateful I had such passion for something at a young age.
Hornet: Do you think you’ll actually run for president?
Emily: That’s so far in the future that I’m not sure yet! My main goal right now is to actually apply to a prestigious law school, so I need to keep my grades up. From there I would like to go into congress. If that doesn’t work out, I would love to practice law and be a defense attorney. At some time in their lives, both of my parents were defense attorneys. That’s the main goal, but hopefully I’ll be in congress for a while and one day run for president but that’s in the far future.
Hornet: Have you met anyone else that’s as enthusiastic about politics here as you?
Emily: Yes, being the president of College Democrats, I’ve met so many people that are on the same page as me and many who are not regarding politics. There are many professors I’ve spoken to about politics as well. Within my major classes I meet many people who are passionate about politics. There’s definitely a yearning for it on this campus that I hope will blossom in the near future.
Hornet: Can you tell us of your job/education experience prior to attending or taking a job at Delaware State University?
Emily: I haven’t really had a steady job in my life, my main source of income came from babysitting. You can make a lot of money that way and they don’t take out money for taxes either. I was mainly a student athlete and it took up a lot of my time.
Hornet: Why did you choose DSU?
Emily: I chose DSU because of lacrosse, they gave me a huge scholarship. Academics gave me a huge scholarship as well. Today, having no student loan debt is a huge blessing especially because my siblings went to very expensive schools. I don’t regret the choice at all because I love Delaware State University.
Hornet: Are you going to run for junior vice president?
Emily: We’ll see, there’s a lot of future plans for student leadership but I will be running in the spring for junior year.
Hornet: Is this where you thought you’d be 5 or so years ago?
Emily: I don’t know. I remember in high school a lot of my friends had dream schools, but I never had that. I never thought about it other than the fact that I wanted to play division one lacrosse. I’d talk to schools and they’d give me smaller scholarships than Delaware State so that’s why I chose to go here. I’d tell my younger self to not worry so much about lacrosse because now, I love this school for everything but lacrosse.
Hornet: Where do you think you’ll be in five years?
Emily: Law School for sure, I have big plans for law school. I have so many dream schools. New York University, Columbia, Georgetown, University of California, Berkeley, and Ohio State. There are so many schools that have great law programs. My main goal is to graduate college with a 4.0 so I can have options when I apply.
Hornet: Do you have to take any exams?
Emily: We have to take LSATs next year and I’m going to start prepping, maybe, next month for that.
Hornet: What kind of advice would you offer a student, who is undecided on his or her career path?
Emily: Come to Delaware state university! I know it sounds cliché but the professors, the atmosphere, the connections and the networking that this university provides is tremendous. I have a lot of friends who go to big schools and they haven’t even thought about their future. They don’t know their professor’s names; the professor knows them as a number. Even if it’s not DSU, I recommend a smaller school because it gives you so much of an advantage in life that people don’t really talk about. I think people focus on big ten schools that only look good on resumes. The best way to get a good job is to get recommendations and make connections where you are.
Hornet: How would you describe the state of higher education in America today?
Emily: I think it’s thoroughly broken and needs to be reexamined. We do not value education and learning like other places in the world. We put a detrimental weight on youths’ shoulders just to go to college. To pay such large amounts for higher education is ridiculous and uncalled for. I think a lot of candidates in 2020 like Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders are talking about making it free or more affordable which is something we need to focus on. The average housing income in America is about sixty thousand dollars which is just one year of college in most places, which is ridiculous.
Hornet: Have you ever travelled outside of the United States? Where, and how does life outside compare to that in the US?
Emily: I just recently went out of the states this summer when I went to Panama. I remember flying there and looking out the window of the plane and thinking America’s hideous. It was crazy being in another country and seeing the culture and beauty that America doesn’t take advantage of. I spoke and met with so many people. I saw first-hand that everyone looked so much more grateful for life, which is something American’s don’t really have. We’re more goal oriented.
Hornet: Did you go with your family or a group?
Emily: I went with my family which was nice, and I enjoy just being with them. They’d been before but I was so excited to be there and experience it.
Hornet: Would you travel again?
Emily: It’d be such a great thing to submerge myself in the culture and travel as much as possible. I think it opens your mind to so much.
Hornet: Would you ever study abroad?
Emily: Definitely, I wish I was bilingual. It’s something I’ve always struggled with, learning new languages. I’d love to study abroad for international politics.
Hornet: What does the future hold for America?
Emily: Sometimes America’s future looks very hopeless but I think there’s been many events these past two years that have made it appear like this. We see a lot of gun violence and domestic terrorism. I remember when Brett Kavanaugh was sworn into the supreme court and I remember thinking, ‘Not another thing, like, when will it get better?’ But then I see glimmers of hope in the youth today standing up for what they believe in. Like youths against gun violence, walks for the environment, advocation for the LGBTQ community. We see politicians being pressured to listen to the youth of America. I see a lot of hope and I think the future is bright especially with our generation, I think we’re motivated to make a change but its’ been rocky to get there but it won’t be better until we see the outcome of the 2020 election.
Hornet: Why do you think President Trump got elected?
Emily: Silent voters. Silent racism, xenophobia, and homophobia. People who hid during Barack Obamas’ election. I think the rhetoric Trump used in his campaign brought out and fueled people in red states to vote for him. What was already in America finally had a blatant voice and he really took advantage of them and manipulated the political climate of America.
Hornet: Do you think he’s done anything good?
Hornet: Changing the topic, what are your hobbies or extracurricular activities?
Emily: I play lacrosse. I’m involved in student leadership, a couple of organizations on campus like College Democrats and other small orgs like Lift, and Forest Ministry. I believe that the more you interact with people the more you will expand your mind.
Hornet: How would you describe your philosophy of life? That is, how do you see this life and what principles get you grounded and moving forward?
Emily: I would describe it as empathy is the most important trait to have. I’ve always believed that in my life, because if you are empathetic towards people you realize what they’re going through is probably affecting every aspect of their life. Where I grew up, I realized I could never go through what people who live just a few couple blocks away from me go through. I’m so empathetic about the cycle of poverty and violence around me because if I understand it, I can become an ally and make a change.
Hornet: Let us end this interview with a memorable quote from you. How would you describe yourself to the world?
Emily: I hope when people meet me, they think I’m genuine.
Complete the sentence: I am…empathetic.
It’s been a pleasure sitting down with sophomore class vice president Emily Campanelli to learn more about her background and perspective on modern society. She’s a hard-working student with ambitious goals and refreshing insight on life as a student at Delaware State University.
Prepared by students in The Digital Content Creation Class/The Hornet Online Newspaper at Delaware State University.
Instructor: Dr. Daniel Awodiya