FMU welcomes campaign season

Representatives discuss top issues in the US

David White, chair of the political science and geography department, hosted a presidential campaign fair in the Smith University Center on Tuesday, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. to celebrate Constitution Day.

As students came in, White handed out pocket-sized copies of the U.S. Constitution. In previous years, White has hosted lectures and trivia to celebrate Constitution Day.

“I mean, presidential elections are a pretty big deal,” White said. “In college, a lot of students aren’t engaged. This gives them a chance to see what it’s like. I’m trying to help them; I do what I can. I don’t tell them how to vote or if they should, but I think it’s better for our citizens and country if people stay engaged.”

Representatives from different Democratic presidential candidates came out to talk about their candidates’ ideas and messages.

Florence County Democrats, along with other political organizations from the community, including the Florence County Republicans, FMU College Democrats, and FMU College Republicans came out to share the importance of student involvement in the political process. They brought posters, stickers and pamphlets to hand out to students.

“Originally, campaigns were reaching out to me to meet my students,” White said.

Instead of interrupting his student’s class time by inviting each of the representatives, White decided to give every student the chance to come out and ask questions and learn about the different candidates and what they offer.

White emailed nine of the candidates, inviting them to come out. Eight of the nine representatives were able to attend.

The event also showed students how easy it is to vote.

The Florence County Voter Registration and Election Office brought out the new voting machines, which will be used in the next presidential election, and showed students how to use them.

FMU student Hunter Britt worked at the fair as a representative for Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.

“As cliché as it sounds, the role we play in this political process as a student is our right to vote,” Britt said.

The presidential campaign fair helped emphasize the importance of voting for a person or cause that students believe in.

A representative for Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, Satya Larouche, stood at her table with another representative hoping to gain support.

“Tulsi strongly believes in service above one’s self and as students, we can relate because we see first-hand the different problems going on around us,” Larouche said.

The representatives who came wanted to stress the importance of getting involved and being aware of what each candidate has to offer.

Students were happy that the school was taking the time to help get them involved in politics.

Alexis Evans, a political science major, really enjoyed being able to engage and ask the representatives questions.

“I liked that I was able to get specific answers from representatives that sometimes aren’t covered in the debates,” Evans said.

The fair was also a good learning experience for a lot of political science students.

“I learned a lot about how political ideologies and theories are enacted in a real campaign,” Evans said.

Madison Cox, a senior psychology major, heard about the event from one of her classmates. She chose to attend because she tries to keep herself educated about politics. This event was beneficial for the campaigns, organizations, and students involved. Cox explained that being on campus made it more comfortable and relatable.

“We are the future,” Cox said. “It’s our responsibility as young adults to educate ourselves on politics so that we know who we are voting for. Our voices matter and we need to use them to better our world by choosing candidates who have our society and earth’s best interest in mind.”