Elon Connected: Debate watch events led Trevor Molin ’23 to Elon Votes!

This is the first in a new series titled "Elon Connected" that highlights how students are involved with campus organizations at Elon.

How are you Elon Connected? This is the first in a new series that highlights how students are connecting at Elon outside of the classroom.

The university is home to hundreds of organizations that provide nearly limitless ways for students to engage, and Elon Connected shines the light on what these groups mean to the students involved and to the campus community. 

Trevor Molin ’23 — Elon Votes!

Hometown: Wake Forest, NC

Major: Political Science and Economics

How did you get involved in Elon Votes?

It started with me just going to the debate watches that Elon Votes would put on last year for the Democratic Primary. I then heard about the all new voting ambassador program at one of those events and decided that was something I wanted to get involved in. After working with last years team in a minor capacity as an ambassador, I heard that Ellie, the previous coordinator, was going to be graduating and her position would be open. She had said she was looking for a first year to fill the role and I felt like I was the right fit, so I applied and got the position last spring.

How does your student involvement line up with your academic interests?

When I first came to Elon, I only really had a poli sci major in mind so Elon Votes lines up pretty directly with that, it was only late last year that I officially picked up my econ major.

… with your social life?

A lot of my friends happen to be STEM majors, like all of my roommates, so there’s a bit of a gap between them and the work that I do with Elon Votes. That said, they’re a really good group of people that I’m able to ask them questions about what they think on things as they provide a perspective outside of the politically tuned in circles that I’m often working on with Elon Votes. I’ve also made some good friends through Elon Votes, like with my fellow coordinator and our Director of Civic Enagement.

… with your career goals?

I’m currently not entirely sure what my career goals are at this moment. But I do know that I want to continue the type work that I’m doing with Elon Votes long after I leave the organization. On the most basic level, the same values that Elon Votes holds are the ones that I wish to seem my future employer have in a perfect world.

Most memorable experience with Elon Votes?

I’ve only been in my position for five months, but there are still so many things that I think about when I see this question. For me, it’s the little things that I do with Elon Votes that I remember the most, the little interactions I have with people on talking about voting, that comes in the form of interviews, presentations, or just one on one conversations when people come to my office hours. Those interactions always stick out to me, time and time again.

Elevator pitch to someone considering participating.

Since Elon Votes is a bit of a little different type of org, the only way for someone to “join” in our current model would to become a voting ambassador. To someone considering become one I would say: Voting is one of the most basic rights that we hold as Americans and the right to wield that vote is the backbone of our entire democratic system. Becoming a voting ambassador not only helps your fellow students use their vote to the best of their ability but also help your peers become more civically engaged generally.

What do you think your organization adds to campus life or the broader community?

I see Elon Votes as an invaluable resource on our campus. One that students can trust to have their interests in mind, free of any partisan motivations with the primary goal of helping students vote.

Trevor Molin ’23, center, is co-coordinator of Elon Votes and is an Andrew Goodman Foundation ambassador. He is pictured here with Cate Podell, left, director of civic engagement for Elon Volunteers, and Andrea Sheetz, also co-coordinator of Elon Votes and an Andrew Goodman Foundation ambassador

Biggest adjustment for your group in response to the pandemic?

The biggest thing we’ve had to deal with is reimagining the way to reach people in this new environment. One example of that is with our debate watch parties, which are usually our biggest hits, that now have to be moved completely virtual. Trying to find a way for us to still be involved and provided something to students with the debates was something we really struggled with and we’re excited to see how things turn out with our first watch party on the 29th.

What’s your advice to other students about balancing student involvement and your academics?

Every student needs to know that sometimes they have to say “No.” When I first got to campus, I was a little overinvolved and I realized that I needed to scale back what I was doing and say no to some orgs that I was a part of. I’ve now narrowed my student involvement to only the things I really love, which mostly takes the form of Elon Votes and SGA now. Now, I’m able to both be better involved in my orgs as well as in my academics.

What lies ahead after Elon?

That’s a scary question that I definitely don’t have the answer to right now, but I have some potential responses. I’ve looked into pursuing higher educational degrees in both of my two fields of study as well as studying law. I’ve also thought about going into Washington in some capacity, but what capacity that would be, I’m not entirely sure on. I do know that I do want to continue the work I’m doing, that may take the form of my full-time job or something that I do to the side, but that’s the surest thing about my life after Elon right now.

Something most people don’t know about you?

Hmmm… I’m a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan and when my family still lived in Buffalo we had season tickets to the Bills games.