February 7, 2006

Uncommon: Grace Lin

Grace Lin, a fourth-year in the College, is a known politician both on and off the U of C campus. In addition to her post as president of the College Republicans, Lin is the elected 20th Ward Republican committeeman in Chicago.

CM: You’re a triple major in math, economics, and statistics, very active in extra-curricular activities, and an elected official in the local government. Have you always been so involved?

Grace Lin: I was part of 42 clubs at my high school, basically everything except theatre. I have since toned it down. Right now I’m involved in College Republicans, the Parliamentary Debate Team, Asian American Students for Christ, and I help lead prayer ministry at the Hyde Park Vineyard Church.

CM: Do you sleep?

GL: Some people say I do, and some people say I don’t. I am flexible; it really depends on how much work I have the next day. I have just as much free time as everyone else really. It’s more about organizing your time and being efficient.

CM: When you became Committeeman of the 20th Ward, you became the youngest Republican committeeman in Chicago’s history. How did that happen?

GL: I went to several networking events around the city, and I was urged by fellow Republicans in Chicago to run for the position, which had just opened up. I received the legal and grassroots support I needed and won the election.

CM: Why are you a Republican?

GL: I tend to agree with the economic and social policy that Republicans put forth. In general, I believe that Republican policy is better at executing the values that Americans hold; whether it is in trusting that individuals spend money more efficiently than a federal government or putting an emphasis on national security.

CM: How about the apolitical and apathetic stance some students have taken in recent times?

GL: You can not care about politics, but you can’t be apolitical. Being apolitical has a political effect. It’s not practical and I don’t think these people realize the importance of voting.

CM: You’re pursuing investment banking after graduation. Do you have any aspirations to go down the politician road?

GL: It depends. I am pursuing investment banking because I think it is important to understand money in order to understand worldly power. A big part of politics is about money, whether it is financing a campaign to power and influence. College is the last stop of a natural progression. I do not know if I will be a politician further down the road, but if the resources and the right opportunity came up, I would consider it.

CM: Do you have any vices?

GL: I have a tendency to procrastinate by playing Tetris, and while I don’t drink, I really like junk food.

CM: If you could choose, what age would you be?

GL: Seven; things were pretty good back then. Although, different ages are better suited for different situations.