By Ankur Shah
Last Saturday, 10 of the brothers and pledges of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity gathered together to help a recent alum’s father, Joe Sise, campaign for re-election for the New York State Supreme Court. Joe Sise, father of Anna Sise ‘12, is an experienced, 17-year veteran of the political arena in New York State. He, along with Felix Catena, his close friend and fellow judge up for re-election, came to the AEPi house to speak to us.
While they are running in line with conservative principles, they both emphasized the importance of bipartisanship in politics as well as moderation. They also encouraged us to vote and be politically aware of various events occurring in both our local area and on a larger scale. The judges were passionate, enthusiastic and definitely exuberated experience and confidence.
After their brief speech, we were given maps by the campaign managers—Sise’s daughter and wife—with assigned areas to cover. Every single brother and pledge that volunteered was also given a Sise & Catena campaign T-shirt. We then split up into groups of two or three and set out going door-to-door with hundreds of flyers that provided useful information to key voters, as Schenectady is one of the most important electoral districts in the election. Without our help, Anna and her mother would have had to spend countless weeks campaigning in and around the areas that we covered.
From this experience, we learned the importance of civic involvement. Meeting with two powerful political figures in our fraternity house’s common room opened our eyes to the impact we can have on the local community, as both Greeks and students of Union.
The privilege of voting is truly a special one. As citizens of the United States, we have the unique opportunity to make our voices matter when electing our leaders. The experience campaigning for the re-election of Judges Sise and Catena motivated us to care more about local and national politics and it also re-instilled the significance of voting in our minds. We hope that others in the Union community become more involved in local politics because it is a wonderful and fulfilling experience.
We would like to sincerely thank Judges Sise and Catena for the opportunity that they provided us, as well as for the free pizza! Best of luck on your respective campaigns.