Clinton should have yielded more time to CSUN students

Adam Haverstock

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The week before school started, I got a call from Ken Swisher, the Associate Vice President for Public Relations for the campus. ?I didn’t answer, but his message said that he needed to talk to me and that it was urgent. ?I was pleasantly surprised to find that the university was planning to host Hillary Clinton on campus. ?Not that I am a supporter of Clinton, but that I am a supporter of the university being a place of political clout. ?In fact, I found it especially surprising, since when I told Dr. Koester that the Associated Students was in conversations with Barack Obama’s people, she had warned me against bringing Presidential contenders to campus because they would probably stick us with most of the bill for the visit.

Ken asked me to do my best to invite as many students to the event as possible. ?I immediately sent messages out on Myspace and Facebook and made several phone calls to people that I thought would be interested in the event. ?

For the next 48 hours, my phone, Facebook and e-mail were flooded with questions about the Clinton event, how people could sign up and of course, if I could get people into the event (which I couldn’t).

When the event occurred, I was quite disappointed in the Clinton campaigns tactics regarding the visit. ?Rather than hosting the event in the University Student Union’s San Fernando Valley Hall with a capacity of over 800 or the Plaza Del Sol Performing Arts Center, which seats about 300, Clinton’s people informed the student union they wanted the Grand Salon, which had a capacity of 190. ?To my knowledge, besides the 54 students chosen to sit in benches behind the senator, only roughly 60 of the seats were available to the 2,000 people outside waiting to get in. ?Additionally, I asked the coordinators if someone from the student government, arguably the representative voice of the students at CSUN, would be able to ask Sen. Clinton a question. ?I was told that she had a “tight schedule” and that there would be no questions.

For those of you who didn’t make the 60 person cut, Clinton said she would try to answer as many questions as possible. Unfortunately, all of those “as many as possible” questions came from Clinton cronies planted in the audience and in the bleachers on stage with the students. ?I even informed the Clinton campaign that the chair of the California State Student Association was in attendance (I gave her my seat) and they weren’t interested in letting the highest elected student in the CSU ask Sen. Clinton a question.

Now, I am all for a politically charged CSUN, in fact, it is a dream that I hope is one day realized. ?But using the students in an attempt to please Clinton donors, local elected Democrats and University Administrators (who all got seats at the event) is shameful. ?I feel the Clinton campaign needs to determine whether or not the cost of betraying those whom you serve is worth getting the nomination for the most prestigious job in the world. ?Isn’t that what we currently criticize President Bush for: ?his ego?