Campus politicians use sports to campaign

For a long time now, politicians, political candidates and government officials have been almost as involved in sports as they have with their respective elections.

Before and during his presidency, Bill Clinton frequented Arkansas Razorback basketball or football games. President George W. Bush was not only the former owner of the Texas Rangers, but he could be found on the mound of a baseball game throwing out the first pitch on several occasions.

Govs. Jesse Ventura (I-Minn) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) are often seen courtside at their local pro basketball teams’ home games. And every year the champion of any of the four major sports (basketball, football, baseball and hockey) are invited to the White House to meet the president.

Why are politicians at these events?

Is it because they are trying to stay one up on their competition? Do they just want to watch the game? Do they want to bond with their respective voters?

No matter the situation, sports and politics throughout the years have become increasingly intertwined. FAMU is no different.

With campus elections Tuesday, many of the candidates running for an SGA position feel that sports are not only a great source of entertainment, but also a great way to bond with their fellow students.

“It is very important for the student body to see their student leader at sporting events,” said Yvette Wilmoth, a third year business administration student from Fort Lauderdale and a candidate for SGA vice president.

Candidates say they enjoy attending sporting events as well as being able to bond with the rest of the student body. Attending events also gives them the opportunity to answer questions and do some campaigning, in essence killing to birds with one stone.

Wilmoth and running mate Torey Alston staged a Karaoke event at Saturday’s homecoming basketball game. The event gave the two a chance to talk to students, enjoy the game and have a little fun at the same time.

Candidates feel that attending sporting events are important because they too are students, the only chance they have to campaign to students without disrupting their own or the students class, or making them late for class by holding them up is to be at sporting events.

“The whole student body is not in SGA, they don’t go to meetings, so we have to go to where the people are,” said Adrian Jordan, a third year Business Administration student from Washington D.C., and a candidate for electoral commissioner.

Jordan, a big football fan, says he enjoys going to sporting events even when he is not campaigning.

Jessica Larchè, a second year political science student from New Orleans, relates campaigning to a sport. Saying that FAMU is a team, the students are players and the SGA officials are like captains. And it takes a total team effort to make changes.

“People don’t just run to win, they run to help make changes to the University,” said the candidate for junior Senator.

Whether it’s throwing out the first pitch, hosting a karaoke night or just cheering and booing with the rest of the fans in attendance being a fan of sports can earn votes, friends and respect.

contact arize ifejika at