Let your voice be heard

Oilers have the power to help bring the campaign to Findlay

By Clay Parlette

Throughout the past several presidential election cycles, the University of Findlay has been fortunate to host some major political figures on our campus—Bob Dole, Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Ann Romney, and Paul Ryan, to name a few. Not only is the campus conveniently located along a major interstate, we have access to an airport, and we are right smack dab in the middle of two very important cities in what is arguably the most important state to win in an election year. There’s no question UF is a valuable venue to hold a political rally, and I hope this year’s candidates take advantage of the opportunity.

With an election that has come to be defined by political revolutions, courageous conservatives, champions, and walls, the time has never been more exciting for Findlay students to experience history once again in Flag City. All the media’s frenzy and the circus-like state of our nation’s capital has called attention to an election cycle that would have otherwise been nothing more than another round of tradition that has been happening since our country’s founding. People are engaged that would have otherwise been indifferent, and political patterns have been upended. Yet, one thing is clear: young people are having a tremendous effect on the successes and failures of campaigns, and because of this, the candidates have been forced to address our concerns.

It seems likely that, sometime before November, another candidate will make an appearance in Oiler Nation. It’s an honorable event that most students will never get to experience on their college campuses, yet the distinct value of Ohio student votes makes Findlay a tempting stop—at least it should. I have gotten wind that the University will again be sending official invitations to each campaign, offering our facilities for their smiles and shouts. We should be grateful that our University is willing to pursue this kind of civic engagement on our behalf, but we should also remember that we have a voice to use as well. The candidates who have spoken here in the past, largely GOP, have brought some excitement to our campus, but this time around, I say we deserve more than just one side of the ballot; 2016 should be the year that at least two major presidential campaigns make Findlay a key rally spot. That means that we need to show our excitement and engagement for democracy. Whether you support Donald, Bernie, Cruz or Hillary, your voice needs to be heard.

Last night I made the drive with some friends to Detroit to attend a rally for Secretary Clinton. Yes, the speech was nice, and I was giddy to see my queen, but what stands out most of all about this first-time experience for me was the engagement I had with my fellow rally-goers. I had so many wonderful conversations with other eager voters. I exchanged business cards and I gained Twitter followers. It was refreshing to be in a place, if only for a brief time, where a crowd of people stood together as one. We were all so different, yet we were all in it together.

What better thing than to bring this kind of positive energy to campus?  I encourage you to use your voice to contact your favorite candidate to encourage him or her to make a stop in Findlay. Call the campaign. Write letters. Tweet. Let’s take advantage of the potent influence we have as young voters and show our nation’s leaders that we’re eager to keep America great.

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