On the second floor of the Mary Graydon Student Center in room 250 lies the shared office space for the Kennedy Political Union and the Student Union Board. The first time I ever went inside was for my interview for the First-Year Fellow position on the KPU team. I was 2 weeks into my journey at American University and hardly even had a grasp of the campus. I remember so clearly walking up the big stairs to get to the office, dressed in the only professional clothes I owned, hoping to do well in the interview for an organization I…


As the year draws to a close, I am so proud to call myself a member of the KPU leadership team for the 2020–2021 school year. As so many of you know all too well, this year has presented a unique set of challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the AU community an entirely virtual school year. For me, this meant a year doing college from my bedroom in a happy little nook I designed to be a home office. But where there are challenges, there are often also incredible opportunities. When I was hired to be the Deputy Director of…


You always hear about KPU. Even before I arrived here at AU, I had heard about the amazing speakers and events that the Kennedy Political Union had put on — my Uncle, an AU alumn still remembers the events put on more than 40 years ago. You can maybe chalk it up to timidness, but I never thought I would work for KPU: its incredible reputation and pedigree demand the best and brightest the AU Community has to offer. Being a part of KPU means being a part of AU history, being behind the memories and conversation-starters that countless students…


Niko Keddy

With my first year of college near-complete (albeit virtually) I can confidently say that being a first-year fellow with the Kennedy Political Union has been the highlight of my AU experience. Transitioning to college is full of uncertainties in a normal year, and especially so during a global pandemic. No one was excited about an all virtual semester, and we certainly weren’t looking forward to it a second time. For a lot of freshmen including myself, the struggle to find a sense of belonging in a new environment with new people was daunting. …


Thursday, March 12th, 2020, was the day that the American University community received the email that our campus was going online for the rest of the semester due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. For many, if not all of us, the world was and continued to be upside down. The things that once brought joy on campus were suddenly out of reach, I mean how was I supposed to go to The Bridge every afternoon? What I came to miss the most over the course of our preliminary online experience was the community. …


If this year has taught me one thing, it is to be comfortable with change. When the Kennedy Political Union began its 2020–2021 year in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, I knew our team would have great challenges to overcome. These obstacles included maintaining student engagement, transitioning an in-person staff to a productive virtual environment, and ensuring new staff had the resources they needed to effectively conduct their work. The leadership team began making the online transition in the Summer of 2020.

As the Deputy Director of Operations, my position entails being a support system and coordinator for KPU…


By: Julia Sheedy, KPU Content Manager

As a first-time voter back in 2018, I was eagerly anticipating going to the polls. But the fact that I was casting my first vote ever for Beto O’Rourke in his 2018 Senate campaign in an attempt to beat Ted Cruz to represent the state of Texas was something that I was ready to brag about forever. In the months prior to the election, O’Rourke spent his days traveling to all 254 counties in the state of Texas. He knocked on doors day in and day out, talking to his future constituents regarding issues…


By: Connor Miller, KPU Production Logistics Manager

At the start of the pandemic, I almost lost my campus job and had to move out of the dorms and back home. As a political science major, I wanted to spend the summer before the 2020 election working with a candidate that inspired me. Frantically trying to find an opportunity, I reached out to a contact I had on Sarah McBride’s campaign in Delaware; and the rest is history. I spent the summer and most of the next semester closely working with Sarah, I was able to talk with her weekly and…


By: Winaly Simpson

This past week, I had the honor of managing a unique and thought-provoking event with Ana Navarro, cosponsored by The Kennedy Political Union and The School of Communication. Mrs. Navarro has been an inspiration and role model to me ever since I became interested in American politics. She is also from my home country, Nicaragua, which made managing this event memorable and personal for me. We both immigrated to Miami as young children because our families saw the opportunities that we would have in the U.S. compared to Nicaragua where the political instability makes it extremely difficult…


As we brought renowned journalist Bob Woodward to AU for the third time in KPU’s History this year, we reached out to the KPU Director who first brought Woodward to campus in 1973, Mark Lewis. Mark shared with us some letters and photos to show how outreach and advertising was done on campus in his day.

A thank you letter from Mark to the Washington Post, and a response from the Editor.

Kennedy Political Union

The Kennedy Political Union (KPU) is the non-partisan, student-run, student-funded speakers bureau at American University.

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