By Tori Zackery
Entirely East Lansing
A crowd of roughly 10,000 swarmed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign rally held at the Breslin Student Events Center on Wednesday, March 2.
The upper and lower bowls of the Breslin basketball arena were comprised mainly of young adults. The crowd cheered as the Democratic presidential hopeful called for equal economic opportunity for all Americans. Free college tuition and eliminating high interest on student loans were among the issues that appealed to the large crowd.
“It is becoming increasingly inaccurate that young people are not going to be involved in the political processes,” Sanders said in his 55-minute address. “What I have seen from coast to coast is that young people are standing up and they’re saying, ‘you know what, I don’t want to leave school $50,000 in debt.’”
The rally was arranged by the Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, and a part of Sanders’ free “A Future to Believe In” campaign tour. Attendees noted how influential organizations in East Lansing have been in their political involvement.
“I think it’s very easy for students to actually reach out and not just stay within their little circles,” said Kalamazoo native and social relations major Justin Gardner. “We have Students for Hillary, we have Students for Bernie, we have students for other Republican candidates as well. We are so able to be involved.”
Much of Sanders’ speech was dedicated to urging East Lansing to participate in the upcoming presidential primary held in Michigan on March 8. The rally was held just days before roughly 50,000 Michigan State University students head on spring break. Volunteers at the event provided information on absentee ballots, which are needed in order to vote while being outside of your registered voting location.
Until 8 p.m. on March 8, registered voters can fill out absentee ballots, available at the local city clerk’s office. Ballots are also available online, but must be returned to the city clerk before deadline.
College freshman Dallas David said he appreciated all the information available at the rally and wanted his peers to know that awareness during this presidential campaign was half the battle.
“A political revolution is having young people seeing the way the system has been working, having everybody come out and see what’s going on and saying no, I don’t want this,” said David. “We want our own form of government, not the way it has been run for years. That’s why I came.”