Working for the ranking Democratic member on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the 12th most senior member of the United States Senate, Political Science and Film Studies senior Megan Rahrig sees first-hand how Senator Patty Murray addresses concerns of constituents and handles national issues.
Rahrig first came into contact with Senator Murray when, as a volunteer with Population Connection, she traveled to D.C. to encourage officials to support women’s rights and family planning. When Murray’s office came to SU’s internship fair, Rahrig put in her resume, was hired, and began interning in Murray’s downtown office.
“The senator has a team who respond directly to constituents,” Rahrig explained. “I spend most of my time helping with Social Security, VA, and immigration and visa issues,” she said.
Rahrig had no clear idea of what actually went on day-to-day in a senator’s office, and she was surprised at how many constituents look to the staff for help.
“At any one time, a staff member may be handling hundreds of cases,” she said. “It’s very gratifying when we can help a person or family through the maze of federal rules and regulations. This is an up-close look into the real workings of a senate office. You just can’t get that in the classroom.”
Rahrig, who spent time in Belize, based a short documentary on the tourism industry and its impacts on the economy and culture. When she graduates in December, she plans to use her background in filmmaking and advocacy to influence policy.
Published April 2016.