October 2, 2007

Students Unite For Obama

Print More

Dozens of excited students cheered on speakers at the Barack Obama Rally for Change outside the Straight yesterday. The rally featured several students all of whom are passionate about politics and getting the Cornell population out to vote.
Rally for Change was put on by Cornell Students for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), a student group dedicated to organizing support for Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign.
“[The organization] is a chapter of the nationwide Barack Obama campaign called Students for Barack Obama,” said Eronmonsele Elens-Eigbokhan ’09, president of Cornell Students for Barack Obama. “It was formed by a group of students even before Barack Obama announced that he was considering running for president. Our mission is to promote Obama’s campaign on campus, and we’re doing the voter registration with the Cornell Democrats.”
According to Elens-Eigbokhan, Students for Barack Obama is active on over 300 college campus and has over 60,000 members. The Cornell chapter is the largest student support group for a 2008 candidate currently on campus.
The rally began with an introduction from Elens-Eigbokhan. He enga­ged the crowd with some cheering before introducing the first speaker, Matthew Grosshons ’11. Grosshons’s speech encouraged students to stay engaged the crowd with some call and response cheering before introducing the first speaker, Matthew Grosshons ’11. Grosshons’s speech encouraged students to stay engaged in politics and laid out the ways in which he thinks Obama will help our country and the world.
“In Barack Obama we’ve got hope. We’ve become bound in partisan politics … but we know Barack Obama brings people together,” he said. “I urge you to get active, get involved, wake up and pay attention.”
As the crowd around the rally grew, Elens-Eigbokhan introduced the next speaker, Tim Redmon ’10. Redmon spoke about his own experiences growing up in a conservative area of the south and why he chose to change his party affiliation.
“The difference between Democrats and Republicans,” he said, “is that Republicans participate in a politics of fear. Democrats don’t have to scare people into believing.”
He also spoke about why Obama is his presidential candidate of choice.
“Senator Barack Obama’s message is a message of hope. Imagine a president that inspires hope in people. This campaign is about a vision,” he said.
Following Redmon was Tim Krueger ’08, a co-founder of Students for Barack Obama with Elens-Eigbokhan. Krueger began his speech by alerting the crowd that he did not intend to talk about why Obama should win, but rather why he would win. He then laid out the reasons why he thought this was the case.
“First Barack Obama will win … for his capacity to articulate a vision to an extent that other candidates cannot,” he said.
Lastly, Elens-Eigbokhan himself stood up and delivered a passionate speech about how important it is to still believe in the power of the people and our ability to elicit change.
“[Barack Obama] told us that at every juncture in American history, American people who love America have changed it,” he said. “It’s very easy for us to say that nothing’s going to change … but if that’s what people had said throughout history, then we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
The rally ended in Elens-Eigbokhan leading the crowd in a chant of “Yes we can!” Many of the students and faculty present held Barack Obama ’08 signs as well.
Joel Frost-Tift ’10, a member of Cornell Students for Barack Obama said he thought that the rally had gone well and that he believed Obama would be the best person to combat problems such as the war, health care, education and the environment.
“For a while I was unsure about which candidate I was going to support,” Frost-Tift said. “But I decided Obama was the most principled candidate in the race.”
Cornell campus is not the only place where Obama’s campaign is being well supported. According the Elens-Eigbokan, it was just announced that Obama is leading in Iowa, the first state to hold primaries. Cornell Students for Barack Obama is planning a trip to Iowa to campaign closer to the election.