Sherri Greenberg

Jan Soifer, Chairwoman of the Travis County Democratic Party, talks about the obstacles she faced during her campaign. The panel discussion, hosted by University Democrats, addressed the future of women in politics.

Photo Credit: Helen Fernandez | Daily Texan Staff

University Democrats hosted a panel Wednesday where women in Texas government addressed the challenges they faced as a result of their gender, including feeling isolated and having a harder time raising adequate funds. 

Former state representative Sherri Greenberg, interim director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School, said running for office as a woman set her apart from the rest of the field. 

“My profile was very different than people who were running at the time,” Greenberg said. “I was 29, 30 years old. I was working. I had a child.”

Greenberg said the lack of women occupying public office also meant she did not always have role models to identify with.

“For me, there weren’t many people running or elected that truly looked like me,” she said. “I don’t think I had as many role models as you do today.”

Greenberg said historically, women were less able to fundraise on a level equal with their male counterparts, in part because women are taught not to be demanding. 

“For some women it was because they couldn’t ask,” Greenberg said. “Other women were not accustomed to giving.”

Jan Soifer, chairwoman of the Travis County Democratic Party, said she was also affected by the social norms surrounding self-promotion. Even though Soifer was used to working in a male-dominated field, she said she still struggled to break free of gender expectations.

“I was used to being one of the only [woman lawyers], but I also had a hard time being out there, selling myself,” Soifer said. “That was something we were socialized not to do.”

Blake Medley, government senior and president of University Democrats, said his organization was motivated to host the panel because the role of women in politics has become a hot topic this semester.

“We knew going into this semester we wanted to have some sort of event focused on women and women in politics because it is a big issue,” Medley said. “It was certainly a big issue during the end of the legislature.”

Medley said that though a “war on women” has become a political buzzword, it does occasionally reflect reality. 

Medley said now is the optimal time for students to become engaged in politics because of their exposure to different issues as college students.

“A lot of people our age, especially, have a more open mindset,” Medley said. “When there’s an injustice and they know about it, they’re usually against it.”

Photo Credit: Eric Park | Daily Texan Staff

The LBJ School of Public Affairs hosted a wrap-up panel discussion Wednesday about the Texas Legislature’s 83rd regular session and three special sessions.

Sherri Greenberg, director of the school’s Center for Politics and Governance and former state representative, moderated the panel, featuring state Reps. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, and Gene Wu, D-Houston, along with three other panelists.

Steven Polunsky, former director of the Texas Senate Committee on Business and Commerce, started the panel discussion with humor.

“The 83rd legislative session was the Lone Ranger of sessions,” Polunsky said. “It was way too long, too boring and forgettable — except for that Tonto part.”

Polunsky said there was a contest for the silliest bills of the session.

“The nominations: ‘on relating to the protection of stray bison’ or designating Feb. 16 as Texas Homemade Pie Day,” he said. “That one passed.”

Panelists also discussed more serious issues addressed during the legislative session, such as abortion, public education financing and the budget. Villarreal said the House achieved bipartisan success through collaboration on key legislation, including financing for water projects.

“We could write legislation, file it, debate it, push it through and get it passed. All within five months,” Villarreal said. “It’s amazing, especially compared to the time things take in D.C.”

Wu, a first-year representative, said he was surprised by how the session went. 

“We stopped pushing off huge items like the water bill that’s been pushed back for 20 years,” he said. “We focused on things both parties could agree on and pushed back ‘red meat’ topics.”

Villarreal said he regrets that certain topics were delayed and not fully addressed.

“Did [Republicans] purposefully spend the regular session on bills that needed cooperation so that they could then drive the ‘red meat’ bills right through a special session?” Villarreal asked.

Erica Grieder, senior editor at Texas Monthly, said too many big topics fell by the wayside.

“The entire first special session was embarrassing and bad for everyone involved,” Grieder said. “They wanted to pass certain bills before the primaries came up in 2014.”

Wu, an LBJ graduate, also spoke about the importance of the school as well as LBJ students who intern or work as Capitol staff during legislative sessions.

“We [the representatives] can’t know everything about all the topics,” he said. “Staff are critical to making decisions.” 

Greenberg said she hopes more students — both undergraduate and graduate — become part of the legislative process.

“Everyone can get involved,” she said.

Electrical engineering freshman Salini participates in the Gun Forum open discussion at the Student Activity Center Monday evening.  

Photo Credit: Austin McKinney | Daily Texan Staff

Students debating on whether concealed weapons would create a safer environment at UT revealed the deep discord over the benefits of concealed handguns on campus.

Law professor Sanford Levinson and Sherri Greenberg, director of the Center for Politics Governance, moderated the “Gun Control, Mental Health, and the Law” forum Monday, where students discussed the impossibility of finding an effective solution to the issues surrounding gun control laws. 

The introduction of a bill in the Texas Legislature to allow concealed handguns on campus has almost made “guns on campus” a loaded term, Danny Zeng, the vice president of College Republicans, said.

“I don’t think we’re really introducing anything new here,” Zeng said. “Guns are, in a way, already on campus. If you’re a licensed CHL holder, you’re allowed to carry your gun on public streets like Dean Keeton and 21st Street.”

Only 5 percent of CHL carriers fall in the 18- to 25-year-old category, Zeng said, making an influx of guns on campus unlikely. 

Educating students on mental health services available may provide better protection than allowing concealed handguns on campus, undeclared freshman Rishi Singh said. 

“I can understand the logic of wanting a CHL but I can’t understand why a student would need a handgun,” Singh said. “While I’m in a classroom, safety shouldn’t be a main priority, safety should be left up to the University. So it shouldn’t be up to a student to protect themselves or to protect the lives of other people in the classroom.” 

Gun owners’ constitutional rights are not threatened by any proposed gun control law, Levinson said.

“None of [the gun control bills] raise constitutional issues,” Levinson said. “All raise interesting issues of policy on which reasonable people can disagree.”

No legislation will eliminate gun crime, however it is important to focus on legislation that can make a difference, Greenberg, a former member of the Texas Legislature, said. Greenberg also said the biggest debates concern magazine size, and the gun show loophole as big as the “Grand Canyon,” referring to the fact that guns can be purchased at gun shows without a background check.

“If you can even prohibit a few people — who may not be of sound mind — from getting these guns and committing atrocities, then you have helped,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg said the issue of doctor/patient confidentiality complicates regulation regarding individuals who have mental health issues. Greenberg said many of the mass shootings on campuses occurred after signals of the shooter’s ill health were noted but not acted upon. 

“From a public policy standpoint, I think that we need to do more in the United States,” Greenberg said. “Get people the health care they need when it comes to mental health.”

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland speaks to delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

With seven students serving as delegates and a recent graduate speaking Thursday, the University has a strong influence on the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., despite Texas’ conservative political atmosphere.

University Democrats president Leslie Tisdale and the other UT delegates joined the ranks of the 287 Texas delegates who will, with delegates from the rest of the country, officially nominate President Barack Obama as the Democratic Party’s candidate for president. The delegates will also vote on the party’s platform and attend council meetings.

“This is an incredible school representation,” Tisdale said. “We’ve met a lot of cool, prominent people in the Democratic Party.”

She said as a delegate she gets to hear high-profile party speakers including the president, first lady and former president Bill Clinton. Tisdale said speakers greet delegates on the floor after their speeches.

“We are on the floor, so we have the most restricted access,” she said. “We get to meet pretty much everyone. So that is a nice perk.”

The Democratic Party does not cover delegates’ travel expenses, so Tisdale said University Democrats raised $8,000 to cover all costs for the nine UT students attending the convention. Two additional UT students joined the seven delegates as special guests and were given floor access but no vote, she said.

At the Republican National Convention last week, no UT-Austin students served as delegates, Chris Elam, delegation coordinator for the Republican Party of Texas said. One UT System student, Isabel Gonzalez from the University of Texas at El Paso, served as a delegate, he said.

Sherri Greenberg, director for the UT Center for Politics and Governance, said the national conventions have long histories in both parties. The first Democratic National Convention occurred in 1832 and the first Republican National Convention in 1856. She said they are intended to bring a proportional representation of the demographics of each party. Each state is different, but in Texas she said potential delegates pledge themselves to the candidate they will nominate, then caucus at the county level to elect delegates to the state convention and on to the national convention. All registered voters have an opportunity to attend the caucus, as long as they register with the party, Greenberg said.

“This time it is pretty simple because Obama is running unopposed,” Greenberg said. “But it is not just ceremonial.”

Aside from nominating a candidate for president, delegates can fulfill other roles, she said. They also meet to set policy, elect officers or attend to state-level business.

Tisdale said UT is surprisingly active in the political arena, which she thinks is good because politics dictates how young people will participate in their community in the future.

“It’s our future,” Tisdale said. “The economy in 10 years, in 20 years — that’s for us.”

Printed on Thursday, September 6th, 2012 as: Student delegates represent University

Political careers can be a roller coaster ride of victory and defeat, but students willing to choose this path found veteran advice at the 2012 Careers in Politics Conference on Saturday.

Students were invited to workshops with former and current members of national political campaigns, including staffers for former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The all-day event took place at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, hosted by the New Politics Forum of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation and the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation.

Events included three panels with staffers in active political careers, a networking lunch with Sherri Greenberg, the director of the Center for Politics and Governance and a keynote address by Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Straus.

More than 100 graduate students attended the conference, attracted by the ability to bring positive change to the political sphere, said Emily Einsohn, program coordinator for ASICP.

“I think young people are hungry for knowledge,” Einsohn said. “They want to know what the insider perspective is, and they want to understand what a career in politics looks like. Who better to hear that from than the active professionals?”

Students must think about the value of their time in school, and how they spend it if they choose to get into politics, former ASICP president Mary Dixson said, who moderated a panel with political consultants Kevin Burnette and Shamina Singh. She also said an only academic background was not suitable for a political or business career.

“Be careful about digging yourself in a graduate school hole — many academics have never written a resume,” Dixson said. “There’s astronauts and astronomers, and academia is full of astronomers. If you want to be an astronaut, go hang out with the astronauts.”

Singh, who is a former senior advisor to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said the skills involved in good political careers would carry over to every aspect of a person’s life.

“The same skill set exists in politics and campaigns as in relationships, business and everything else,” Singh said. “It’s challenging and exhausting, but it’s so rewarding.”

A good sense of business and a spirit for impacting politics as a member of society is also important, Burnette said.

“The star of the hour is the entrepreneur, especially given the economic situation we are in,” Burnette said. “It would be so great if everyone in America was a true entrepreneur.”

At a later panel, former Bill Clinton campaign member Ashley Bell and former George W. Bush campaign member Matt Mackowiak spoke on political communication and the direction of their careers.

The emergence of mass social media continues to play an important role in campaigns, Bell said.

“You can’t believe the world of contacts that come out of politics,” Bell said. “Social media is an enigma. We use social platforms to drive interest, [public relations] and marketing back to the websites where we park our information.”

The first step into the world of politics is always the most important, Mackowiak said, a 2003 UT communication alumnus.

“I didn’t know what it was going to be like getting from the University of Texas to Washington,” Mackowiak said. “You have to take the first step, even though you don’t know at all where you’re going to and where you’ll end up going.”

The proposed state budget does not take into consideration investments Texas should make to fund portions of the national health care reform law, said the associate director of a research group. Anne Dunkelberg, associate director the nonpartisan research organization Center for Public Policy Priorities, spoke to nearly 100 people at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin about the need for the state to raise its allotted funding for the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Bonny Gardner, public affairs co-chair at the church, said the church sponsored the event to inform the public about an issue it considers important to everyone. “We see health care issues and health care reform as vitally affecting the lives of everyone in this country,” she said. “We want to correct public misperceptions and misunderstandings.” Facing a budget shortfall of approximately $15 to $27 billion, representatives in the state House proposed a budget that would reduce funding to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission by 24.6 percent, or $49 million. Both Senate and House budgets proposed cutting reimbursement rates to Medicaid providers by 10 percent. Jacqueline Angel, public affairs and sociology professor, said the state will need more Medicaid funding in the future. “Almost one-fifth of the population has a disability, and the number continues to rise,” Angel said. “At the same time, the population is aging and the number of individuals with chronic conditions and limited resources is also increasing.” Public affairs lecturer Sherri Greenberg said cutting Medicaid reimbursement rates would reduce the limited options Medicaid patients have, forcing them to go to the emergency room for uncompensated care. The increasing number of patients who need emergency care would then cause costs to increase for hospitals funded by local property taxes. “There are people who show up in the emergency room who don’t actually need emergency care,” she said. Greenberg said if patients do not find a Medicaid provider, they are more likely to go to the emergency room for routine care. To meet the requirements of national health care reform, Dunkelberg said the state needs to start building an insurance exchange, provide the Texas Department of Insurance with more resources to carry out its broader responsibilities, streamline Medicaid and health insurance exchange enrollment systems and increase the health care workforce. She said legislators also did not take inflation and Texas’s increasing population into account when writing the budget. She suggested using the state’s $9.4-billion Rainy Day Fund, closing tax loopholes and raising taxes to balance the budget rather than simply cutting more in other areas. “There’s no way to say, ‘Don’t cut Health and Human Services, put it on public schools, or don’t cut public schools, put it on the courts,’ because everything in the budget’s cut,” Dunkelburg said.

Republicans widened their majority in the Texas House of Representatives, taking 22 seats from Democrats Tuesday night.

The 99 Republicans and 51 Democrats in the new state house must balance the budget, bearing the burden of a deficit that could be as high as $25 million. Texas Republican Party spokesman Chris Elam said the “seismic” shift is even more dramatic than what the U.S. saw in the national house.

“It’s a shift that is historic not just in Texas but in national history,” Elam said. “It’s hard to over appreciate the gravitas of this situation. With a 100-50 in the house, conservative principles are the name of the game now.”

Republicans and Democrats disagreed on the reasons for the massive gains. Republicans touted grassroots campaigning and strong conservative Texas values, while Democrats suggested that Republicans simply rode the wave of anti-Washington sentiment that has swept the country in the past few months.

“From the top to the bottom of the ballot, Texas Republicans have run against Obama,” said Texas Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirsten Gray. “They have talked about Obama and Pelosi. We don’t know a thing about their priorities in Texas or their plans for the $25 billion deficit.”

Central Texas saw several Republicans take seats from Democrats, including Valinda Bolton’s loss to Paul Workman in District 47, Jason Isaac’s victory over Patrick Rose in District 45 and Larry Gonzales’ 20-point win over freshman incumbent Diana Maldonado in District 52. Democrat Donna Howard kept her seat in District 48 by only 15 votes.

“In the Texas house, Republicans had a better night than many were predicting,” said UT public affairs lecturer Sherri Greenberg. “There were a lot of races in play in the Texas house, up to 25 or so. Some of these seats in Travis County and Central Texas were Republican seats that Democrats held onto, and those Democrats like Patrick Rose had real opponents in a big Republican year.”

Rose, a seven-year incumbent, said he is proud of his work in the house during his terms, and he hopes Isaac continues to prioritize District 45. Isaac said his top priorities include balancing the budget to cut spending without raising taxes, improving benefits for public school teachers and hot legislative issues such as promoting concealed carry on college campuses.

“It’s about getting back to fiscal responsibility, working with budget problems we have and cutting spending,” Isaac said. “I want us to be the model. I want businesses to aspire to be as efficient as the Texas state government.”

Legislative topics such as concealed carry and immigration are likely to see much more time on the house floor with such a strong conservative majority, Greenberg said. However, she, like Republican and Democratic candidates and representatives, said tackling the state’s budget deficit must be a top priority.

“It’s going to be a tough budget year, there has never been any doubt about that,” Greenberg said. “But there is certainly going to be much more pressure on not raising taxes because that’s the platform people were running on. That’s a tough situation when you’re looking at more than $21 billion in the hole.”

Texas Republicans recognize the responsibility they have to the Texans who elected them and will act on that mandate to return Texas to conservative principles, Elam said.

“This is like being given the keys to the car, and it’s time to put up or shut up in terms of what we’re going to stand for in policy and the future of our state,” Elam said. “Because in the future of our nation, Texas is going to lead the way.”

As Republicans trounced Democrats nationwide on Tuesday night — reclaiming control of the U.S. House of Representatives — two Texas Democratic incumbents also lost their bids for re-election. But Democrats maintained a narrow majority in the U.S. Senate.

With 98 percent of the votes reported, San Antonio Republican Francisco Canseco led the race for U.S. Congressional District 23, which spans from El Paso to San Antonio, by 5.1 percent. Canseco ousted Democratic incumbent Ciro Rodriguez, a Democrat who served two terms.

UT public affairs lecturer Sherri Greenberg said the district is more marginal, but leans Republican because of its large, varied demographic. President Barack Obama won 51 percent of the district’s vote during the 2008 presidential election, while 57 percent voted for former President George W. Bush in 2004.

Voters in District 17, which includes Waco and Bryan, removed 10-term Rep. Chet Edwards in favor of Republican challenger Bill Flores by 44,000 votes.

Greenberg said the Waco-based seat has been a difficult one for a Democrat to retain since the mid-decade redistricting in 2004, which gave Republicans an advantage in the district.

“When redistricting was done again, the seat was drawn for a Republican,” she said. “Through work and will, Edwards has held on to it, but it wasn’t enough for him this time. I think the Republican tide combined with the Republican district is too much to overcome for Edwards.”

Saint Mary’s University government professor Henry Flores said the anti-incumbent atmosphere and voters’ frustrations could have led to Edward’s demise. Henry Flores said he expects congressional gridlock and the new Republican leadership to elect a Republican president in 2012.

“In the bigger picture of things, I don’t think much is going to happen in Washington,” he said. “With a fairly activist Republican House, because of new Tea Party settlers, they’re going to be putting proposals in that counter Obama’s agenda. Obama is going to start putting forth policies, forcing the Republicans to take some very dramatic stands on issues that they will look so bad to the American public.”

Henry Flores said Republicans are likely to raise the issues of extending the Bush tax cuts and to reduce government spending, while the Democrats, under Obama, will push for immigration reform.

“There is going to be a lot of drama and attacking and counterattacking,” he said. “The American people are going to suffer because things just won’t get done.”

The 2010 midterm election season has been the most expensive to date, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a research organization that studies the role of money in U.S. politics. District 17 was the ninth most costly race, with Edwards and Flores raising about a total of $6 million and spending about $5 million.

“Both of the candidates are well above the average mark for money spent,” said the center’s spokesman David Levinthal. “The average winner of a House race in 2008 spent about $1.4 million in victory. Both of these guys, through Oct. 15, had spent more than $2.5 million.”

The District 17 race also ranked high among the House races that have attracted outside spending, such as from American Crossroads, a political organization former Bush political adviser Karl Rove created to support conservative candidates and issues, Levinthal said. According to the center’s website, Flores raised a total of nearly $644,000 from outside spending, and Edwards nearly $892,000.

“If Republicans can pick [Edwards] off, they’ve scored a major moral and political victory for themselves, in addition to the very practical victory of getting another House seat in an election year where every single vote counts,” he said.

— Additional reporting contributed by Andrew Kreighbaum

Former Mayor Bill White shakes hands with Rep. Mark Strama after a rally for his gubernatorial candidacy at Sholtz Garten in December.

Photo Credit: Caleb Bryant Miller | Daily Texan Staff

As the gubernatorial primaries draw near, Democratic candidates Bill White and Farouk Shami are gearing up for their first debate Monday.

The debate, hosted by public broadcasting station KERA, will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at a CBS studio in Fort Worth in front of an audience. White, a former mayor of Houston, and Shami, a self-made businessman, will take questions from viewers through social-networking Web sites, reporters and live audience members.

Sherri Greenberg, economics lecturer and former member of the House of Representatives, said education, jobs and environmental issues will dominate Monday’s debate. Greenberg said the idea of fresh leadership will underscore both Shami’s and White’s answers.

“Both [candidates] are positioning themselves as agents of change,” Greenberg said. “Shami will say that he’s an outsider, and White will say that we need new blood in the governor’s office.”

Ally Smith, spokeswoman for White, said the candidates will probably focus more on debating the issues, not each others’ reputations, which happened during the Republican primary debate on Jan. 29 between Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Debra Medina.

Viewers should also expect to hear candidates addressing a more student-friendly topic, Smith said.

“You didn’t hear anything about education in Friday’s debate, yet it’s the most important role of state government,” she said.

She said the long-term economic growth of Texas is dependent on having an educated workforce, which can be done by increasing high school graduation rates and reducing financial obstacles to higher education.

“We need to bring down the skyrocketing tuition increases,” White said in an interview with The Daily Texan. “We need to make sure young people are not prevented from going to college for financial reasons.”

Greenberg said Shami is not favored to win the Democratic nomination, but that hasn’t kept the underdog candidate from campaigning.

“I feel confident that after this debate, the Democratic primary will receive significantly more attention as people in Texas realize I am the only candidate who is not a career politician and who has real-life experience solving significant problems on a large scale,” Shami said in a prepared statement.

Elected officials are among the many who have hopped on the social media bandwagon, utilizing tools like Facebook and Twitter to communicate with their constituents. New research finds that elected officials are using social media to announce political stances rather than promoting their campaign, which contradicts previous research.

Sherri Greenberg, director at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs, and 17 UT students spent more than a year researching how members of Congress use the social media platforms Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. To conduct their research, they watched official congressional social media accounts over a 59-day period, categorizing 47,000 different Twitter and Facebook posts. Greenberg said the highest category was position-taking posts, which was a surprise due to previous research that suggested the opposite.

Greenberg said the study shows elected officials have gone through an evolution in their usage of social media.

“They have matured in how they are using it,” Greenberg said. “They are more comfortable, I think, now in not just saying ‘Oh, I’m on the news tonight’ but actually taking positions and talking about issues.”

“I knew that usage had increased exponentially, but I was not aware of the change in how they were using the technology,” Greenberg said. “Earlier research on Twitter has shown that they were using it mainly to let people know about media appearances.”

For example, an elected official might tweet that he or she would be appearing on CNN or a local news station later that evening. Posts like these were categorized as media appearances. Greenberg’s study showed a shift in usage from tweets about media appearances to tweets and posts about political positions.

Greenberg said the politicians have turned to social media to promote their stances because it is cheaper than buying airtime on television.

“If you don’t have money for TV, then you can use YouTube,” Greenberg said. “Or you can tweet at someone.”

The research also showed politicians are growing more comfortable with social media. Public affairs graduate student Matthew Cornelius worked with Greenberg on the study and said that three years ago, less than half of Congressional members were using social media. Now, 98 percent of Congress is using at least one social media platform and 72 percent are using Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

“It’s just part of everyday life now,” Cornelius said. “What they are using it for is really a mirror of what is happening in the country at large. People are using these tools to state their claim and be on one side of the issue.”

In their study, Greenberg said they also found that members of Congress were using Twitter almost twice as much as Facebook.

“They’re using Twitter more because it is so easy,” Greenberg said. “With only 140 characters, you don’t have to watch your grammar quite as much.”

Greenberg also said she thinks Facebook is less effective.

“People tend to say Facebook is ‘my personal feed,’” Greenberg said. “They don’t want to be bothered by ads or campaigns.”

Public affairs graduate student Racheal Kane, who also worked on the study, said the findings gave her mixed feelings and she is unsure the change will make for a better political atmosphere. However, she said increased transparency will hold politicians more accountable.

“One thing we saw was members of Congress actually tweeting and posting on how they were voting on individual bills,” Kane said. “In the past, you really had to go digging to find that. My concern, though, is not all people are using social media and are tuning in to what is going on.”

Student Government President Thor Lund said the results of the study did not surprise him. He said social media provides an outlet for elected officials to voice opinions that might not be heard otherwise.

As elected officials, Lund said he and SG Vice President Wills Brown use their social media accounts to let students know what they do on a day-to-day basis. During their campaign, Lund and Brown said they would deliver monthly YouTube addresses to keep students better informed on what was happening in SG. Lund said he and Brown will deliver their first YouTube address summarizing what SG worked on this summer in August.

“We also use it to show that we are out across campus advocating for the issues that directly affect students,” Lund said.

Greenberg said she is planning to continue to pursue research on social media. She said she wants to study how public officials use their social media to personally have dialogue with constituents.