On Oct. 28 at 7 p.m., senator from the state of Vermont and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a National Student Town Hall meeting at the Recreation & Athletic Complex of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Hundreds of students flooded the complex to listen to Sanders speak and show their support for his campaign. Students from all over the country also showed their support by tuning into the event via a live stream. Over 300 campuses nationwide hosted events to stream the meeting, UR among them.
Junior Katie Hallagan, a member of the independent group University of Rochester Students for Bernie Sanders, coordinated the on-campus livestream viewing held in Goergen Hall. While they are not an SA-recognized group, University of Rochester Students for Bernie Sanders advocates for the Sanders campaign and aims to raise political awareness on campus. In the past, they have hosted events in conjunction with other groups, including the UR College Democrats. The two-hour-long event had a turnout of roughly a dozen students, all of whom actively watched Sanders speak.
During the meeting Sanders touched upon the major reforms he’d like to see, if he is elected into office. His ideas for education and tuition reform are perhaps the most pertinent to students. Sanders acknowledged the increasing expenses of a college education and stated that a college diploma is the equivalent of what a high school diploma was 50 years ago—extremely necessary for future employment. He went on to state that all public colleges and universities should be tuition free in order to be an attainable goal for all students. At the conclusion of his speech, Sanders urged all students to “not fall into the trap of thinking small.” He then opened the floor to questions from both students present at the event and those tweeting under the hashtag #StudentsForBernie.