Louis Duke, president of the College Democrats of North Carolina, introduced the speakers with a call to action.
“It is imperative that students like us get involved,” Duke said. “The stakes are simply too high.”
Schultz began by explaining that she has dedicated herself to public service. She then brought up N.C. Speaker of the House and U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis, asserting that his public service has made life harder for North Carolinians.
“Why else would he cut half a billion dollars out of education? Why else would he deny health care to 500,000 North Carolinians? Why would he try to tax food on college campuses?” Schultz said.
She said it is imperative for young voters to go door-to-door and rally people to the polls — particularly l ow-intensity voters, who might not typically vote in a midterm election.
“We probably lose more than the Republicans do,” she said.
Schultz gained national notoriety in September for remarks she made about Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, a Republican, linking his attitude toward women with domestic abuse.
“It is sad that the head of a national party committee, out of ideas to move her party forward, feels the need to resort to absurd statements like this in an attempt to prop up their candidate,” said Republican Governors Association spokeswoman Gail Gitcho in a statement.
During her speech, Schultz said the midterm election is pivotal because it presents two choices: a chance to move forward, create jobs and cut college costs; or the risk of moving backward.
She added that Tillis supports the state’s voting law, which she said would restrict voter participation among Democratic-leaning groups such as black, Hispanic, young, female and LGBT populations.
Wilson Parker, president of UNC Young Democrats and director of state and external affairs for UNC Student Government, said the University is an ideal place to speak about young voter issues.
“I think the stuff she was talking about, particularly about how young people’s voices aren’t always being paid attention to, is very pertinent,” he said.
Price, who represents Chapel Hill and parts of Orange County, said Schultz’ efforts to support Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan indicate the election’s importance.
“When people say to me, ‘Now, what in the world is going on in North Carolina?’ I know what they’re talking about, and I don’t like it.”
Parker said the Young Democrats is one group that has helped increase voter registration in Orange County. From July through the Oct. 10 deadline, the number of voters registered went up 50 percent from those registered from July through Election Day in 2010, which included same-day registration.
“We’ve registered a huge number of voters,” he said. “But the point is with this voter suppression law, we think it’s so important to get students registered and make sure they know to vote, make sure they know how important voting is.”