Oct 022008
Authors: Jim Sojourner

In a last attempt to encourage students to register to vote before the Oct. 6 deadline, Students for Barack Obama is hosting a registration drive with actress Eva Longoria and actors Kal Penn and Adam Rodriguez on campus this Saturday.

John Firestone, a volunteer with Students for Barack Obama, said every topic being debated by the candidates this election will impact the futures of college-age students.

“Obviously Colorado is already a swing state,” Firestone said. “We have to show we care about our futures and get out there and vote.”

Firestone said he was excited to have high-profile names on campus to help promote the cause.

Anna Zhundrikova, also a volunteer with the campaign, said the most important reason for having the celebrities speak on campus is to encourage CSU students to register and vote.

“There are so many things going on right now that the youth can impact,” Zhundrikova said.

She said the performers will address students about why the youth vote is important and why they are lending their personal support to Obama.

She said the program will put special emphasis on getting first-time voters to register.

While the Obama volunteers were enthusiastic about the celebrities offering their opinions on the presidential race, Callen Jackson, a senior health and exercise science major and John McCain supporter, was skeptical.

“It’s just a little publicity, celebrity …” Jackson said, trailing off. “I wouldn’t call it a stunt, but I guess that’s politics.”

Jackson said she was unsure if the event would have substantial impact on most students, but said it would probably fire up the “true” Obama supporters.

“It’s just like something Obama would do,” Jackson said.

However, Jackson conceded that if the circumstances were reversed, she might have a different outlook.

“If there was someone famous coming to speak for McCain, I’d be like ‘Yeah! That’s awesome,'” Jackson said.

Lindsay Riggil, the treasurer for Students for Barack Obama, seemed to speak directly to Jackson’s concern.

“I know some people are a little worried about the celebrity thing, but (Longoria, Penn and Rodriguez) are very articulate about why they support Obama,” Riggil said.

“It’s not a frivolous thing,” she added.

The three performers will speak in the Lory Student Center Theater. Admission is free and the doors open at 4:15 p.m.

“I feel like we’re making a difference regardless of who (students) are voting for,” Zhundrikova said.

Staff writer Jim Sojourner can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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