Campus abuzz with promise of Obama

Corey Aldritt

The start of Political Action Week started with a buzz as the news that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., would be speaking on Central Campus on Friday spread its way throughout the gathering of students.

“We didn’t know until today, so we’re really excited,” said Kyleanne Kiraly, freshman in English and member of Students for Barack Obama.

Kiraly said she thinks Obama will be speaking about a lot of student issues, like how to pay for college.

Monday’s speakers all focused on the same main point: They all wanted students to get involved and help change the way politics is run in this country.

“To not know what’s going on in the world, now that’s un-American,” said Basil Mahayni, graduate assistant in political science.

Mahayni addressed the crowd for 15 minutes about foreign affairs and the state of the Middle East.

“Their issues are far greater than cutting someone’s head off and suicide bombings,” Mahayni said.

Mahayni is of Syrian descent and said the violence in the Middle East is an issue of water, not ideology. He said the richest aquifer in the world is under the West Bank.

He thinks that when political leaders come to campus, students need to grill them with questions and not let them respond with sugar-coated answers.

“Both parties have been spineless the last couple of years,” Mahayni said.

The first speaker of the day stressed student involvement in the government in order to help out Africa.

Natalie Sugira, ONE Campaign ambassador, was born in Rwanda and lived there until 1989.

“Our votes will count. I care about poverty; I care about global HIV,” Sugira said.

Sugira said students need to stand up and get involved with campus groups and organizations.

“We’re asking for your voice. You have one; use it,” Sugira said.

James McCormick, department chairman and professor of political science, spoke about students’ future in politics.

“Make certain that you put together good factual info, but also make sure to look up alternate points of view,” McCormick said.

Political Action Week will continue all week on Central Campus with new speakers every day. Also, there is food served every day except Wednesday for $1.