AU students are gearing up for the 2012 presidential election by forming election groups to support Obama and several Republican candidates.
Students attended the first meeting of AU for Obama Oct 12 and planned out a list of strategies they could use to spread Obama’s re-election message.
Their list included:
• Making sure students send in absentee ballots,
• Direct contact with voters in Ward 3, the district in which AU resides,
• Drawing attention to Obama’s successes in office, and
• Imploring friends to get involved in Obama’s re-election campaign.
Juri Schnoeller, an international student from Germany in the School of International Service, spoke about the importance of going out and being active in the re-election campaign at the meeting. Schnoeller is the campus coordinator and an intern for Obama for America D.C.
“To sit and wait would be naïve,” he said. “It is important to do something now, because if we wait until five months from now to ask you to get involved, it might be too late.”
Schnoeller said he believes Obama would be a solid choice for president.
“[Obama is] the right man,” he said. “I wish we had politicians like him in Germany. I am proud to do my part in his campaign for reelection.”
Patrick Kelly, a freshman in the School of Public Affairs, attended the Oct. 12 meeting and said he was looking for more ways to get involved in Obama’s reelection campaign. He had volunteered in Chicago for Obama’s 2006 campaign for Senate.
“I got a better idea about what I could do as an Obama supporter and an AU student in regard to the 2012 campaign,” Kelly said.
About 21 students attended the meeting of AU student Obama supporters on Oct. 12.
Phil Cardarella a senior in SPA who organized the event, was not swayed by the lower-than-predicted attendance. He implored the students present to get involved and volunteer.
“Obama’s campaign is very revolutionary,” Cardarella said. “Volunteers gain experience and better their understanding of [campaigning] techniques.”
Cardarella, a fall fellow with the re-election organization Obama for America, also participated in Obama’s 2008 campaign.
He said groups like AU for Obama are a hub for gathering volunteers for Obama’s reelection campaign.
AU for Obama is not directly affiliated with AU Democrats and is not an official Student Activities club, but there is an overlap of members between the two groups.
AU organizations like AU College Democrats and College Republicans are not allowed organize election campaign groups because that would violate AU’s tax-exempt status as a nonprofit university, The Eagle previously reported. AU provides funding for clubs, so by extension it would be financially supporting specific candidates if clubs were allowed to campaign.
Republicans at AU engage in upcoming elections
Republicans on campus are also finding ways to get involved in the upcoming elections.
AU College Republicans is providing its members with information on how to get involved with some of the GOP candidate’s campaigns through either volunteer opportunities or internships, AU College Republicans President Todd Carney said.
Carney said his group will have social events for members, host awareness campaigns on campus until after the 2012 primaries and bring speakers to campus. The group brought Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to campus Oct. 20.
Carney said he believes the United States needs a candidate that is concerned for each individual citizen’s best interest.
“I feel this is part of the frustration seen with both Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party,” he said. “I believe President Obama believes this too; he’s just wrong on how to get there. We can help individuals by creating an environment for them to get jobs, placing less future debt on them and making sure they’re not taxed excessively.”