Welcome to Women in Politics: College Edition, where promising women leaders in student government on college and university campuses across the country will be featured on msnbc.com over the course of the year. Morgan Helfman has been nominated by Northeastern University as a leader making a difference not only through key issues on campus, but in bridging the gender gap in politics.
As part of msnbc’s “Women in Politics” series, these hand-selected women become part of a larger discussion of women candidates and women’s issues on a national level. “Women in Politics” features newsmaker interviews, profiles, photos, and deep dives into the key conversations, including a series on “Women Leaders Bridging Tech and Politics in 2016.”
From the Ivy Leagues to the Big Ten to liberal arts colleges and beyond, young women are making a difference across the country – meet them here!
Name: Morgan Helfman
School: Northeastern University
Hometown: Moorestown, New Jersey
Concentration: Political Science and Sociology, minor in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Role in student government, organizations: Student Government Association, Executive Vice President; Chi Omega Fraternity; Sexual Assault Response Campaign; Women’s Empowerment Coalition, Co-Founder; Lead360, Women’s Leadership Program Facilitator
Dream job: Writing federal public policy to implement comprehensive sex-ed education in schools
Class year: 2018
What women’s issues are you most passionate about addressing both on campus and nationally?
An issue that I am extremely passionate about is sexual violence. Campuses and other institutions have not made it very easy on survivors and it is my goal to reform the system, specifically at Northeastern, so that survivors are more likely to report and feel safe on their own campus.
Do you think it’s important for college students to vote during elections? Why or why not?
I think that college students can have a huge impact in an election, so long as they get out and vote. Some students may feel that their votes won’t make a difference, but college students, as well as young voters in general, represent an important part of the American community and need to make their voices heard.
What is one of your proudest achievements so far?
One of my proudest achievements was running for executive vice president of the student government. Putting myself out there to the entire school was something I had never done before, and although extremely challenging, especially since many told me I would not succeed, I have grown immensely from it. I am now able to conquer anything.
Has feminism played a role in your life? If so, how?
As a women’s, gender, and sexuality studies minor, feminism is something that I talk about a lot. When I was younger, I latched on to the ideas of feminism that solely applied to me - equal pay, political parity, reproductive rights. However, now I have been trying to take a more intersectional approach to the way I view feminism, where it includes eliminating all forms of patriarchy. It has been difficult, but with my classes and challenging discussions I have had with amazing women, it has inspired me to be a better advocate for others.
What’s your favorite go-to for reading/watching the latest news?
I am currently taking a “Politics and the Mass Media” course, and we often talk about how TV and newspapers are the most regular sources of news. However, I think my professor has yet to discover the ingenious new Snapchat news stories. They select a few stories from major publications and use images to convey the story. It is great how the news is being made even more accessible and brought to a different generation.
To nominate an exceptional undergraduate female leader in student government please email Anna Brand at Anna.Brand@nbcuni.com