Views From 90 Penn: Opening my eyes to politics

Interns View: Opening my eyes to politics

Frankie Rotolo

My name is Frankie and I currently engaged in an internship with the LIPC. I am a junior at LIU Post studying sociology. I must admit, prior to accepting this amazing offer to work with such a hardworking, and dedicated group of people I was extremely nervous and felt as if I was in the dark. I am not proud of the fact that I had intentionally ignored politics and anything that had to do with them. Partially due to ignorance, and age.  I thought to myself “I am spending most of my time to studying sociology, what could that possibly have to do with an involvement in politics?”  One month later, I have a completely different mindset.

With the help of the coalition I was able to realize not only the importance of politics, but the connection to sociology as well. Once I was able to make this connection (which came rather quickly and obviously) I was able to fully commit myself to making the most out of this opportunity.

If there is one thing that is embedded in my mind from all of my passionate sociology professors at LIU Post, it is the concept of the sociological imagination. This concept helps us to understand that most issues that occur for one person, or even a small group of people, usually end up being broad scale issues that are important to many.

A great quote I have heard over and over from my professors to explain this is: “The personal is political” which was used to great extent in feminist sociology; panning out on one women’s issue to reveal that it is actually the issue of many. In relation to the work with LIPC, I have seen that if one school district is having issues due to cuts and underfunding, it is usually similar issues to many others across the state. That one school’s issues now become not just their problem, but the problem of multiple schools and people in those communities; which is then where politics can come into play, to help solve the issues of many of these schools.

Now I must ask, what is the best way to solve or improve broad scale issues amongst a large group of people? Well I’m sure most of you already put it together; it is politics. Laws and policies over time have constantly affected and determined many social actions and constructions amongst many people, creating oppression, inequality, equality, and liberation amongst races, class, and gender; which are the most popular subjects of study in sociology.

I am so enlightened and grateful for this opportunity I was given by the LIPC and my professor. I was able to step out of my comfort zone, and I am now learning so many wonderful and useful things in relation to sociology, as well as learning a great deal about politics in the process (and enjoying it might I add). I am very eager to continue my time here and can’t wait to participate in some of the wonderful events that the LIPC is hosting and involved in.

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