On Monday, Oct. 17, former President Bill Clinton came to Keene State College and delivered a speech to students, faculty and community members. Supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy, Bill has been campaigning at various colleges in the past week, visiting Cornell College , Dartmouth College and Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania.
The event at KSC attracted more than 600 students, faculty and members of the community, according to The Times Argus. Though Bill promoted Hillary’s policies in his speech, he placed high stress on the idea of voting, something that many college students may have not done before.
First-year biology major Shannon Upham at KSC, attended the rally and said, “ I don’t know what I’m doing in this election…but I think it’s so cool that a former president came to us. I think it’s nice that such big names have come to our campus.”
In addition to Bill’s speech last week, senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rallied at KSC on Friday, Oct. 7, just a week and a half before Bill Clinton. Attracting more than 500 guests, Sanders too promoted Hillary and her race for presidency.
Joseph Barbesco, the President of Keene’s nonpartisan political organization Democracy Matters attended Sanders’ speech.
“I saw Sanders like 10 times already. I think he’s extraordinary,” he said. “I think he’s a great speaker. He connects well with students. He engages students. You can feel his passion when he talks.”
Sophomore and history education major Jesse Guerra commented on both events and said, “As a student, it is always nice to see well known folks come to Keene State. It is an honor and privilege to host a presidential candidate and then a former president.”
However, he later said, “As a Republican… I have noticed that this school is more or less on the Democratic side, as I have yet to see really any pride for the Republican nominee…. I’d like to see Mike Pence come speak (Trump’s running mate) because I do not know that much about his morals…”
The President of KSC Republicans Hunter Cinq-Mars, took a moment of his time to speak with The Equinox on this issue.
“I just wish we had more conservative candidates come… I just wish that we could have more diversity,” he said.
“Having a more intermediate candidate, not even a candidate, but public speaker, talk before the nominee would be really interesting and I would like to see that,” Cinq-Mars said.
Tyler Croteau, the President of Keene’s Democratic organization, mentioned that he enjoyed having two famous speakers.
“If it gets kids involved [and] gets kids paying attention in an election that’s pretty divisive and ugly, I think it’s a really good thing.”
However, like Cinq-Mars, Croteau also stated, “I feel like…the Republican party on campus, at least its presence, is a minority and that has nothing to do with the value of their message… The last thing in the world I want is for someone to feel their political opinions [are] invalid just because it’s the minority opinion.”
Barbesco’s explanation for the Republican minority is, “because it’s a liberal arts school. It just makes sense with that.”
While KSC is a liberal arts school, people still have the right to vote for whomever they want. Students can vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Alexandria Saurman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org