Liné Fourie: "I want to change things. It's personal."

By Hank McIntire

Liné Fourie

        Liné Fourie, Quill Project team lead at UVU's Center for Constitutional Studies.

Visiting her boyfriend, who was working in Utah in 2021, Liné Fourie drove by Utah Valley University for the first time.

Then a student at a university in the Midwest, she had come from her native South Africa with her mother and brother two years earlier.

“Mom had gotten a job at Pumpkin Hollow Mine in Nevada,” Liné recalled. “I lived in nearby Yerington for a few months and then enrolled at Missouri State, where the tuition was quite inexpensive for international students like me."

In that moment, looking at UVU campus with the Wasatch Mountains in the background, something stood out to Liné. “I fell in love with UVU,” she said. “It was affordable, it had a Political Science department, and I liked what they offered.”

Liné will graduate from UVU with a degree in Political Science in May. “After that I’m taking a gap year to get experience and do some job shadowing,” she said.

“In South Africa I planned to go into law,” Liné continued. “I’ve always been interested in politics—especially American politics. I want to go to law school.”

She plans to apply to BYU and the University of Utah law schools, which are her top two choices, with Texas A&M and Baylor as backup options.

In emigrating to the U.S. from South Africa, Liné and her family had some bad experiences with immigration lawyers.

“We were poorly advised about our immigration issues,” she said. “It cost us unnecessary stress and extra money. It could have been avoided if they had just done their research correctly. The attorney apologized later and helped us for free, but the damage had already been done.”

Liné was originally planning to go into medical law, but given her difficulties with her residency in the U.S., she is leaning in a different direction.

“Immigration is a very sensitive matter," she said. "I want to change things and put my effort into helping people who are in the same situation I was in not too long ago. It’s personal.”

After landing at UVU, Liné was looking for employment and saw an advertisement for a position with the Center for Constitutional Studies. “I saw it was applicable to my field,” she said.

Liné started at the Center in 2022 and has enjoyed the work immensely. She began as a member of the Illinois team and did constitutional research, creating digital models of the communication processes that resulted in that state’s 1970 constitution. She is now a team lead, overseeing six researchers on the Ohio project.

“Being around like-minded people at CCS and having civil conversations about politics is rewarding,” explained Liné. “CCS has given me a passion for politics and constitutional studies. Modeling state constitutions has given me a new appreciation for America’s political history and taught me more about the legislative process.”

“I love the emphasis on freedom of speech,” explained Liné. “In South Africa, free speech is not as prevalent. People here can give their opinions on personal or political topics without fear.”

“CCS and UVU have also opened doors for me and given me more confidence in myself as a student,” she added. “The study of political science is not emphasized in South Africa. I bring a new perspective to it.”

Liné also feels gratitude to those whose generosity supports her employment at the Center. “They have given me the opportunity,” she said. “It ignited a passion for something I never knew I had. This job has given me a new appreciation for it.”

When asked what she would tell her younger self, Liné didn’t hesitate. “A lot can change in just a year,” she said. “My plans might change tomorrow, but that’s not a bad thing. I never used to be a flexible person before coming to the U.S. I’m now more open to chasing new possibilities.”