Oct 052008
Authors: Johnny Hart

Several hundred CSU students and community members gathered in the Lory Student Center Theatre Saturday to see Eva Longoria, star of “Desperate Housewives”; Adam Rodriguez, star of “CSI: Miami”; and Kal Penn, star of “House” and “Harold and Kumar,” who spoke about voter registration and specifically emphasized Colorado’s importance in the 2008 election because of its swing-state status.

“All eyes are on Colorado,” Longoria said in her speech, referring to its swing state status, which many believe will decide the results of November’s election.

The trio, which acted as a political surrogate for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, spoke to a filled-to-capacity crowd at the LSC Theatre, hoping to spark further voter registration before Today’s deadline.

Longoria said every vote in Colorado counts, so even registering one or two people constitutes a success.

“The students who are showing up to these things are the ones who are in the know, who are already involved,” Rodriguez said.

“It’s about getting them excited enough to realize that, because they have that enthusiasm, they need to take that and parley that into getting other people excited.”

The event focused mainly on the student votes and student involvement. According to Longoria, college students and young adults will be responsible for the future created by today’s political climate.

“The only way we’re going to change this nation is by empowering you and you empowering others,” Longoria said.

Penn also encouraged students to reach out to their community to inspire voters to take action.

“We’re really inspired by all these kids that we’re meeting,” Penn said. “The work that they’re doing and the fact that they’re registering their friends and reaching out to the community is really what’s going to make a difference in the election.”

Longoria, Penn and Rodriguez also spent time Saturday on the Auraria Campus in Denver and the University of Northern Colorado campus in Greeley before addressing CSU later in the afternoon.

“It’s a lot, but it is a little sacrifice for a greater cause,” Longoria said.

Penn will travel to Colorado College Sunday while Longoria will be campaigning in New Mexico and Texas.

He said that, historically, young voters have been deterred from voting because of negative campaigning and mudslinging.

“No one actually, in the past, has really taken the time to outline what they’re going to do for young adults and college students, and in particular challenged our generation to do our own part,” Penn said.

Rodriguez said the government should be held responsible by the voters and that “it is time that they answer to us.”

“Millions of Americans for the first time have gotten interested in politics,” Longoria said in her speech. “People who have never voted before, who have never been registered to vote, people who have never seen a presidential debate on TV, they’re all interested now.”

“People understand what a critical time this is, how important the president elect is going to be. Young people get it,” Rodriguez said.

Senior Reporter Johnny Hart can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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