By Sarah Bourassa, Communications Assistant
About 30 miles north of downtown Denver, signs of the Democratic National Convention appear through the bustling crowds of new and returning students on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder. Posters and signs pinned to bulletin boards and plastered throughout campus announce DNC events and marches. Outside the main student center, a CNN Election Express Yourself trailer sits next to a booth for the Campaign for Change.
This first week of school for CU students has not stopped them from participating and making an appearance at the convention. My public relations professor even shortened our first class period due to the number of students attending the DNC.
Edie Hulings, a 19-year-old environmental studies and sociology major, headed to downtown Denver Monday to see the Manifest Hope Gallery, which displays art inspired by Barack Obama. After visiting the gallery, she and several other students protested the presence of the police and SWAT team, chanting, “Who do you serve? Who do you protect?”
“No one had the intention to protest. It just happened,” she said. “…We talked about how there should be a dialogue between us and the police and actual communication instead of both literal and figurative barriers between the two.”
The week of the DNC was an ideal time for the CNN Election Express Yourself tour and the Campaign for Change to reach CU students. The CNN tour set up an elaborate display on campus with video kiosks and a political graffiti wall and handed out free magnets with political words on them such as “Freedom” and “Voice.” The CNN tour is traveling around the nation and signing people up for the League of First Time Voters, which aims to connect and provide resources for first-time voters.
The Campaign for Change aimed to register as many student voters as possible and increase political awareness. They registered over 150 voters in one day.
“We are students and want our message to be heard,” said Dan Roiter, 21, the team captain for the Campaign for Change. “It’s our time to set up the base now for our future.”
Roiter attended Obama’s speech Thursday night at Invesco Field at Mile High and was thrilled to have the opportunity to “witness history in the making.”
“It was the most moving experience of my life,” Roiter said.