OU political science professors to hold ‘campaign bootcamp’

OU political science professors to hold ‘campaign bootcamp’
Political Campaign Bootcamp
Oakland University is offering a new course that will help students gain a better understanding of the basics of campaign strategy. (Photo courtesy Shutterstock)

Whether you’re considering running for office or just want to learn more about the process, Oakland University is offering a new course that will help students gain a better understanding of the basics of campaign strategy, tactics and techniques.


“After the (2016) election and the healthcare debacle, we saw there was, potentially, a large audience of people who wanted to get more involved in campaigns,” said John Klemanski, Ph.D, a professor of Political Science at Oakland University.


With that in mind, Dr. Klemanski has partnered with Dr. David Dulio, a professor and chair of the Political Science Department, to develop the Political Campaign Bootcamp course, which will be offered from May 16 through June 6 from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday evenings.

Dr. David Dulio
Dr. David Dulio


“There are folks out there who are as energized as they’ve ever been about running for office,” Dulio said. “Our hope is to capture some of that interest.”


The course, which is being offered through Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) at Oakland University, will cover a wide variety of topics, including:


  • Preparing and organizing your campaign: Deciding when to run for political office; how to file for office; creating an authentic campaign message; identifying a core campaign team; and determining your campaign season


  • Knowing the rules and understanding your district: Know election/campaign finance law; conducting research on your district/voters; and how many votes you need to win


  • Communicating to voters: Neighborhood coffee events; door-to-door campaigning; paid media (direct mail and other advertising); creating a social media presence; and earned media (debates/candidate forums, news coverage, etc.)


Dr. John Klemanski
Dr. John Klemanski
  • Raising money for your campaign: Friends and family; members of social organizations; and political organizations


  • Putting it all together: Creating a campaign budget; creating a campaign calendar; creating a volunteer plan; and GOTV strategy.


“We’re envisioning it being a two-session course,” Dulio said.


In the first session, which can be taken as a stand-alone course, students can expect to learn the fundamentals of campaigning. The second session will teach students how to engage in the more technical aspects of campaigning, such as voter and district analysis and developing a complete campaign plan.


“Running for office is the ultimate form of political participation,” Dulio said.


The cost of the course is $250, and prospective students can register online by visiting www.oakland.edu/pace, clicking “Register,” and typing the course reference number (90300) into the search bar.


For more information about the course, contact Professor John Klemanski at klemansk@oakland.edu.