Major: Political Science Minors: Statistics, Spanish
Shannon Kang is the youngest leader ever to serve on the West Lafayette City Council. She came to Purdue last year eager to participate in student government only to discover that local Democrats were looking for a candidate to run for the city government’s District 3, which includes all but three of Purdue’s residence halls. After confirming that being only 18-years-old met eligibility requirements, she signed up and began fundraising and campaigning. In November 2019, she beat the incumbent Republican with 64 percent of the vote.
“The chance to do something not only for my school but also for my community was such an amazing opportunity. I couldn’t pass it up,” she said.
Kang discovered the thrill of politics when she first ran for office in the 5th grade and continued to participate in student government throughout middle and high school. She also excelled at chemistry, and had to decide whether to pursue a degree in STEM or liberal arts. After much reflection and with lots of passion she declared, “Why can’t I make a career out of political science?”
Shannon loves both the “political” and the “science” of her degree. She’s minoring in statistics to strengthen her skills as a political scientist. While she enjoys the discourse, debate and theories of politics, good government policy needs to be supported with clear evidence. “Decisions shouldn’t be made because someone thinks a policy is a good idea, it has to be backed by the numbers.”
Her primary interest is U.S. environmental policy. To add experience to the expertise she’s acquiring in the classroom, Kang serves as executive director of Purdue Student Government’s Sustainability Committee. She also recently became the city council representative on the West Lafayette Go Greener Commission.