Recognizing a year of dedicated political effort, the College Democrats of America named sophomore Adrienne Harreveld a College Democrat Rising Star of America.
Each summer, CDA—an umbrella organization comprised of the local and state chapters affiliated with the Democratic Party—asks student political organizations for nominations for the Rising Star award, which is given to students who demonstrate dedication and leadership in their universities’ chapters. Harreveld was one of the ten students who received the award at the College Democrats of America Convention, which was held in Charlotte, North Carolina the weekend before the Democratic National Convention.
“It really means a lot to me because I spend so many hours working on anything related to the Democratic Party, so it’s great to get that recognition,” said Harreveld, co-president of Duke Democrats. “There are tons of other college students who work just as hard as I do, so I’m really honored and really thankful to have won.”
Harreveld, who is a contributing writer for The Chronicle's Recess section, was nominated by her co-President, David Winegar, and said the recognition stemmed from her extensive work with Duke Democrats’ Amendment One campaign last year. Amendment One sought to ban same-sex marriage in North Carolina, and Harreveld worked at least eight hours a week with Duke Democrats to prevent the amendment from passing. Duke’s two precincts had the highest voter turnout for early voting in all of North Carolina, she said, noting that this was a great success.
“It was pretty much four of us that did everything to make that happen... we were the only people to put up all the signs about early voting [and] pester everyone every day from when we got back from winter break,” said Harreveld. “Even though the election didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, it still is so inspiring to see the effort that I put in actually made a difference.”
Harreveld was very involved in Young Democrats during high school, and knew she wanted to continue this kind of work in college. After joining Duke Democrats at the beginning of her freshman year, she quickly rose through the ranks of the organization, going from campaign chair to vice president of political affairs. In her leadership roles, she has organized phone banks and canvassing—when members go door-to-door asking for voter turnout—and coordinated many of Duke Democrats’ campaigns, with particular focus on Amendment One. She also serves as director of political affairs for College Democrats of North Carolina.
“She is one of the most amazing people I have ever worked with and has been a great leader for Duke Democrats,” sophomore David Winegar said. “Adrienne has a lot of field experience from high school, and she did a great job of leading the work. She became a jack of all trades and ended up filling in wherever we needed her and being an incredible leader.”
Tori Taylor , national president of CDA, said most students who are named a rising star go on to take larger leadership roles with their state federations of College Democrats or serve on CDA’s executive board.
Although Harreveld expressed some interest in these roles, she said she prefers to continue working closely with Duke’s chapter to further her initiatives and educate Duke students.
She noted that she prefers working on races that personally affect her rather than working on agendas that are being addressed by many college campuses.
“Although I’m really passionate about re-electing President Obama, I’m more so about [the races] that hit closer to home and affect Duke students,” Harreveld said. “Duke is such a large voting bloc that tends to be liberal—it can really swing these elections.”