Rally rouses student voters

A political rally on the Florida A&M University’s Set Wednesday, led by the Obama campaign, brought the Democratic presidential candidate’s senior foreign policy advisor to campus.

Susan Rice encouraged FAMU students to vote in the election and said it will be crucial for change.

“This is the first time where I feel like I’m on the verge of tears,” Rice said. “This is about you and your future and the years to come.”

Rice is a former advisor to the Clinton administration and an advocate for issues facing Darfur.

She reminded students that the general election was 12 days away. Rice said those who contribute by volunteering and working together will make a difference this election season.

“Every single one of us matter,” Rice said. “But effort and energy matter more.”

She also stressed the importance voting and how it impacts the youth.

Danielle Alexander, 21, a graduate arts student from Miami said that people do not realize the effect of those elected as president and vice-president of the United States.

“Obama and Biden are an extremely great team,” Alexander said. “This is our time to stand up and appreciate the free country we live in.”

Rice said the United States could not afford eight years of the same thing, referring to the policies of the Bush administration. She said issues such as the economy, tuition, and gas prices were important for the next president to face.

“We have the opportunity to take our country in a direction it’s never gone before,” Rice said.

Montre Bennet, 21, a third-year business student from Miami agreed with Rice. Bennet said that a joint effort to encourage people to vote will be beneficial this election.

“The more people come out the better, the less of a chance they can mess up,” she said.

Other FAMU students share Rice’s sentiments on the importance of voting this election such as Sammy Lamy, 19, a second year food science student from Miami.

“This year election is as important as the next four years of your life,” Lamy said. “If you don’t vote you can’t complain about the economy, the society or the war.”

Myiah Shows, 18, a first-year pre-nursing student from Detroit, Mich., said Rice’s attendance was pivotal to his decision to vote.

“Hearing Rice speak encouraged me to vote early,” Shows said, who was planning to wait until the official voting date.

College Democrat President and Attorney General for Student Government Association, Mario Henderson thought the rally was a success.

“Dr. Rice did a very good job in presenting the importance of voting for students,” Henderson said, “and the urgency of supporting Senator Obama.”

Those who participated in the rally included Andrew Collins, SGA president, and Monique Gillum, coordinator of the event and college field organizer for the Obama Campaign.

Organizations such as Relay for Life, Chapter Upsilon Psi of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and FAMU’s Marching 100 were also in attendance.

Rice defined change in America as when you look out for one another.

“We understand we’re going to sink or swim together,” Rice said.  “And we create policies that emphasize that.”