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Smaller Proves to be Better for Poli Sci Senior

December 1, 2008

Smaller Proves to be Better for Poli Sci Senior

College life hasn’t exactly turned out as expected for UC Merced
seniorAdam J. Kook. Having grown up in the area, the
political sciencemajor expected a larger-than-life social scene when he
transferredhere from Merced College.

“This campus is 54 percent male,” he remarked, referring to the gender ratio of students. “That’s almost unheard of in the UC system.”

Aside from the dearth of available co-eds, Kook found UC Merced to be smaller and quieter than its sister campuses. However, he is also living proof of how the campus” size and atmosphere can benefit students.

“I’ve had the chance to do a lot of stuff here that I would never have been able to do at Berkeley or any large university,” he said.

Where else could a college student cast his vote for Barack Obama as a district-level delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Denver? Where else could a student-run political group travel to campaign for a presidential candidate in a swing state?

For Kook, 22, that only describes the opportunities his attendance at UC Merced has afforded him this semester.

“Spending Halloween weekend in Las Vegas was very cool,” he admits, adding that it wasn’t all fun and games for the members of the campus
Democrats Club. “We knocked on a lot of doors to campaign for Obama while we were there.

Politics aside, Kook says he’s also getting valuable research experience that he believes will give him an edge when applying to law school this semester. In researching the interaction between the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress for professor
Thomas Hansford, Kook is coding amicus curiae briefs, which are filed by third parties in legal cases to advocate on behalf of litigants.

“It’s interesting to see which special interests certain groups and organizations lobby for,” he said. “The exciting thing for me is this is very similar to what I’ll be doing at law school.”

Law school is something at the forefront of Kook’s mind right now. Graduating in December, he plans to start law school in Fall 2009. In the meantime, he’ll work as a substitute teacher - just as he’s been doing three days a week all semester.