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Students interview with The New York Times regarding friendship and opposing political views

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2 students in an interview

St. Paul, Minn., January 11, 2017—Cole Birkeland, a history major and leader of Northwestern's College Democrats group and Nick Solheim, a political science and public relations major and leader of Northwestern's College Republicans group, were interviewed by The New York Times yesterday at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul. The two boast of a strong friendship despite opposing political views. In the midst of a divisive political season, their story is refreshing to hear.

Each student sat down with NYT reporter Mitch Smith in a series of Facebook Live interviews to talk about their respective political positions and thoughts going into the forthcoming presidential inauguration. Through comments from over 400,000 viewers combined, the students were able answer questions from those tuning into the videos.

Their friendship is fueled by their love for public policy. "When you're having respectful discussions, I think that's where you can most benefit," said Birkeland. "It's about understanding the other person and respecting the other person." Both Cole and Nick talked in depth about political issues facing our country as well as how they lead their respective political groups on campus.

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