Feb 032008
Authors: Aaron Hedge

It’s 6 p.m., Jan. 3, and Precinct Director Angela Connelly is rushing around Hoover High School’s small east wing kitchen. oving tables, shuffling documents and barking orders at campaign captains.

Des Moines, Iowa’s Webster 1 was about to make its pick for the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee, and everything had to be in order within the hour before they shut the doors and started the Iowa caucus process.

On Tuesday, precinct directors across Colorado from both parties will experience similar stress as the state joins 24 others in the largest primary day in the history of American politics.

Student political leaders say the CSU community must exercise its voice this Super Tuesday to get the interests of college students represented when the current administration is out of office.

Katie Freudenthal, director of Community Affairs for ASCSU, said students at CSU are largely apathetic about the caucus process, but that it is imperative that they use their voice that has new-found volume after seven years of political stagnation.

“We could become a very big factor if we choose to,” she said. “It’s vital for students to get involved in this process and get our voice heard.”

One of the problems she said keeps students out of the caucus room is the complicated and confusing process that isn’t well disclosed before primary night.

Freudenthal said precinct directors explain the logistics before the caucus starts and the process is very interesting.

“It might seem intimidating,” she said. “But we have this power (to vote) and it’s the only way we can increase student voice.”

Alex Cobell, a student precinct captain with the Barack Obama campaign covering the precinct just west of campus, has been working for the last month making calls, knocking on doors and posting flyers for the campaign.

“It’s all gonna be worth it on that day when (Obama) wins,” Cobell said.

Cobell said he got involved because he wants Obama to win, but also because he wants to get students involved in the democratic process.

“Everything that you do every day is affected by politics,” he said.

Student government is pushing hard as what many have coined Super Duper Tuesday approaches to get registered voters to the caucus.

The Associated Students of CSU will hold an awareness rally in the Lory Student Center Plaza Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., where they will showcase a map with caucus locations for every precinct in Larimer County and offer their office computers for students to find out where their precinct will caucus.

Freudenthal, said hot chocolate will be offered to students who participate.

She encouraged students to show up to the caucus whether or not they registered by Dec. 5, which was the deadline for Super Tuesday, so they can get a feel of the political climate in Colorado and be aware of where candidates stand on the issues facing the next presidency.

“It’s a valuable experience,” she said. “You get a real perspective on the political process.”

News Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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