A major party presidential candidate hasn’t visited our University since 2012, when President Obama slow-jammed the news with Jimmy Fallon from our campus. More recently, forums with state and local candidates from both parties on our campus have been quite scarce.
We are a public, civically engaged campus in a swing state, where our governor’s race and senate races are likewise in almost a dead heat. If there is ever a time to capitalize on our student body’s collective political power, it’s now. Our campus is one of the largest, most public and most politically important campuses in the country, yet we’ve hosted few major candidates.
As a board that continually calls on this campus to engage in elections both local and national, we believe our student body is capable of solving this issue with a little planning.
While the burden for inviting candidates to campus traditionally lies with student government, there are other available avenues.
The recent visits of Chelsea Clinton, Tim Kaine and Donald Trump to nearby North Carolina spots speak to how feasible this goal truly is.
We believe that, out of the fabric of intertwined advocacy and political groups on campus, there has to be some connection strong enough or some argument convincing enough to rope many of these major candidates into a campus visit.
Luckily, from our conversations with them, the student government will partner with some political organizations on campus to coordinate their efforts and strategize their approach for both local and national figures. To be clear, student government will invite politicians from at least both major parties.
So, well-connected reader, we urge you to come out of the woodwork and help make this happen. We think our campus can do better; our very student body holds critical importance to so many elections this cycle.