MI First Election
At Michigan State University, a student-run organization called MSU Spartans for Hillary is devoted to helping Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president.
Members discuss Clinton’s platforms on specific topic and phone bank. Although the most common response is for people to hang up, every signature in support of Clinton is appreciated.
Kyle Flynn, co-deputy campaign manager of MSU Spartans for Hillary, said the organization is developing programs to engage students in the discussion.
“In general meetings, we try to give a lot of information to people that are still undecided about their vote,” said Flynn, a freshman who studies international relations. “On campus, we set up tables in high-traffic places and inform people about Hillary. We’ve gotten a positive response.”
MSU Spartans for Hillary doesn’t limit its campaigning to campus, or to Michigan. During the Iowa caucus, members traveled there and canvassed for Clinton.
After Clinton announced her bid for the presidency in April 2015, Ronald E. Owens began to plan MSU Spartans for Hillary.
“I began MSU Spartans for Hillary to engage students in the political movements and to shatter the glass ceiling,” said Owens, a sophomore studying political theory and constitutional democracy. “I want every student to be wrapped with knowledge about who Hillary really is. Also, encouraging student turnout at the polls is a big goal.”
The members agree that Clinton’s credentials make her the most qualified candidate. Melanie Bryce, a new member, joined MSU Spartans for Hillary to find support for her opinions.
“Hillary has my vote, because she knows what she’s doing. She has been in the game for a long time, and she knows how to work with others to get what we need as a country done,” said Bryce, a freshman studying international relations, said. “She doesn’t lean too heavily on one issue to get votes.”
The treasurer of this organization, Sohela Suri, said that she is excited at the prospect of having a woman president. It was Clinton’s progressive stances on human rights that won Suri’s vote.
“Hillary is the only candidate to have a specific plan to help those with mental-health issues,” said Suri, a senior studying comparative culture and politics. “Plus, Hillary is the one who gave women emergency contraceptives.”
During meetings, members are vocal about Clinton’s tendency to change her stances on issues like gay rights. Owens said this doesn’t mean that Clinton is unreliable, but that she is not afraid to progress her thinking.
MSU Spartans for Hillary acknowledges that college students are more drawn to voting for Sen. Bernie Sanders rather than Clinton. Billy Gischia, a member of the group, believes that Sanders has offered Millennials unrealistic goals.
“Hillary wants to focus on more practical issues, like reducing student debt and making college more affordable,” said Gischia, a sophomore at James Madison college. “Bernie is just all about making it free. It’s not going to happen.”
Although Sanders defeated Clinton in the New Hampshire caucus, Owens remains optimistic that Clinton will prevail.
“Hillary is fighting for every person in America, even the younger generation,” Owens said. “She will continue to fight for their support, and that will be shown in the polls.”
MSU Spartans for Hillary meet on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at Case Hall in room 334A. More information can be found on the group’s facebook page.