Kent: President Obama creates 'election electricity'

8:32 PM, Sep 26, 2012   |    comments
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KENT -- President Barack Obama made a campaign stop at Kent State University Wednesday, the first presidential visit to the campus in at least four decades.

Students and Portage County residents braved the rain, and the long lines to get inside for a chance to see the President. The earliest arrivals camped out overnight.

There were 6,600 people inside the MAC Center, a new record for an event.

Overflow viewing rooms were set up all around campus to watch a live stream of his remarks. Most students tell Channel 3 News that they'll choose the candidate that can build a better future for them.

But who can do that, is a matter of opinion.

"Who cares the most about the college students?" said Rodney Berning, a Kent State sophomore. It's the big question that Berning and dozens of other Kent State students are trying to answer.

"I think they both care, they just take different approaches to it," he said.

Some students felt Obama's visit showed his concern for college students.

"His thinking, his philosophy versus Mitt Romney's philosophy. I think Obama's philosophy is a lot more geared to college students," said Dorothy Bell, a freshman who attended the rally.

"I'm just going to be voting Mitt Romney," said senior Lauren Pico. "I have a  ton of friends who all have a Republican view, but obviously with the President here, there's going to get more of his supporters."

"I think the biggest thing for me right now, because I'm a nursing major, is Obamacare and what job placement is going to be like," said Pico.

Many students are left undecided, breaking down the platform on the issues they find important. While social issues and healthcare are talking points, most students say they want a president who can 'show them the money.'

"Student loans, I want to be sure that I can still get them," said Rachel Kilroy, a fifth-year student who works for KSU Buzz.

"It's hard to find a job, even with a four-year degree. So hopefully he'll be creating more jobs for us when we graduate," said Kelsey Maddox, a junior student who says she'll support Obama in November.

"The student loan issues, jobs, the economy. I think everyone's really concerned about when they graduate what the economy is going to be like at that time," said graduating senior Heather Justus.

"There's a lot of issues that relate to being in college."

Another big question at Kent and campuses across the nation is who will turn out to vote?

Some people feel the excitement and momentum for young voters in 2008 is missing this time around. At Kent, the visit brought election electricity with it.

Tables offering voter registration already litter the campus. Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. the Rock the Vote Road Trip bus tour will stop at Manchester Field to register new voters.


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