Members of UNL’s Creative Commons gathered in the student lounge of Andersen Hall on Oct. 18 in anticipation of speaker Megan Hunt — a candidate for the Unicameral’s District Eight in Omaha.
Creative Commons is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln club focused on female empowerment and boosting creative confidence in fields like business and politics.
Isabel Kratville, a sophomore advertising and public relations and graphic design double major and Creative Commons' event coordinator, found that Hunt’s beliefs tied in nicely with the club’s mission because Hunt is a single mother, small business owner, entrepreneur and a candidate in the upcoming election.
“The Creative Commons team chose Hunt not only for her involvement in running for state legislature but also for her history as a business owner,” Kratville said.
Hunt began her entrepreneurship out of her dorm by selling wedding dresses and bouquets. Since then, it expanded into Hello Holiday, a boutique in Omaha’s Dundee neighborhood known for the shirts sporting “Girls Support Girls” with proceeds going to organizations like Planned Parenthood.
Aside from her business, Hunt has worked to improve sexual education at her local school board — an issue she plans to deal with at a state level if elected. While speaking on such issues, she said she looks at them both as a woman and as a mother with a daughter.
Hunt entered the student lounge with her eight-year-old daughter, Alice, and invited the audience to have an “open and honest” conversation with her. She began the talk with information about her background and how she got started as a businesswoman.
“When we started, we knew we wanted to include independent designers, use fair trade products and [be] size inclusive,” she said. “We wanted to start the business out right.”
During her speech, Hunt mentioned her goals as a politician, such as creating legislation to obtain voting rights for convicted felons and preventing sexual assault through proper education. Throughout her talk, Hunt spoke through her female lens about how she plans to accomplish her goals as a woman in politics through a progressive and aggressive approach.
“I think it’s a very hopeful time for women in politics,” she said. “People are activated now more than ever.”
After her speech, Hunt opened the floor to questions, and most of the audience members’ hands shot up. Many asked questions relating to her business and her hopes as a politician.
“I thought it would be really fun to come into a room full of young people who are excited about the election,” Hunt said. “I was hoping to bring my experiences here and energize the room, and in return I got very energized.”
The event ended with Hunt offering her campaign buttons and pens. Throughout her speech, she mentioned the importance of politicians forming a close relationship with the people they serve, and it seemed like she had when the audience came together around her for a group picture. A line formed around Hunt; many members of the crowd wanted to formally thank her and speak to her one-on-one.
“I think that when you are running a campaign, you have to feel when you are at your threshold and mix it up with different events and different ways to engage populations and communities,” Hunt said. “More candidates and more elected officials should be building relationships and keeping in touch with students because those are the people we serve.”