Students in PPP begin internships

Philosophy, Politics and the Public (PPP) majors take on local internships

By Emily Croft, Staff Writer

Sophomore Philosophy, Politics and the Public (PPP) majors are hitting the ground running with their fall internships in local political campaigns, governmental offices or organizations in civil society. 

The Class of 2024 PPP majors are required to dedicate 80 hours to an internship for their degree. Students choose between a Power and the Politics block or Civil Society and Government block, respectively, meaning a campaign track or a more law-focused track.

Students  are then placed in different offices and political campaigns throughout Cincinnati to complete their internship work, ranging from the political campaign of Liz Keating for City Council to the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office. The internship’s goal is to allow students into the world of politics and law and give them insight into their possible future professions.

Last year, many students worked on campaigns with social distancing, masking and other protocols in place. Students on the law track completed their work remotely.

Fortunately, the situation has changed for the current sophomore class. Most of the internships are being held in-person, with students entering courthouses and offices each day to log hours. 

Campaign students are continuing their work in-person, spending their time in meetings with candidates and their weekends going door-to-door.

Photo courtesy of @PPP_Xavier via Twitter
Xavier Philosophy, Politics and the Public (PPP) majors have begun their fall internships. Some students may intern on campaigns, whereas some will intern for law firms or in other capacities. The workload depends on the internship.

For a lot of the students in PPP, this is their first true internship within the world of law and politics. 

Andrew Torti, a sophomore PPP student in the campaign block now working for Liz Keating for City Council, explained how the internship has been different than his expectations. 

“I thought it was going to be busywork, but this was not the case,” he said.

Rather than being given jobs to keep them occupied, the students are given a more valuable role in their internships. 

“My candidate has us going door-to-door and talking to residents in many neighborhoods,” Torti explained.

The law block sees a different perspective. Sophomore PPP student Kaleb Walters is working for the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office and has seen a wide range of ongoing civil and criminal cases in the Cincinnati area. Walters was surprised by his role.  

“It is a lot of hands-on work and speaking with judges, prosecutors, witnesses, and victims, making sure that everything is set and ready to go for court beforehand. I’m really enjoying the fast-paced and somewhat chaotic nature of the internship so far,” Walters said.  

He also explained that, with his internship, masks are mandatory  in courthouses but not in the prosecutors’ office.

Some law internships remain online, and most of the in-person internships enforce masking and strongly encourage vaccination. 

Sophomore PPP major Alise Chavis works in the First District Court of Appeals Office, which is offering Chavis a hybrid format for her internship.

The office fears that the COVID-19 Delta variant may force them to move back online, so they gave Chavis online and in-person options to maximize productivity. Until remote access is the only option, the office is allowing Chavis to remain in-person.

“I’m hoping to be in-person as much as possible, but I understand why they want to take cautionary actions,” Chavis stated.