“A Free Education on Bernie Sanders,” fostered civic participation among the Stony Brook community on Wednesday night in SAC Ballroom B. The event allowed college professors, local activists and former alumni to speak to anyone who wanted to learn more about the presidential candidate.
The talk was attended by Stony Brook students and faculty who listened to guest speakers explain Sanders’ political beliefs. During the event, volunteers asked registered democrats to sign delegate petitions and speakers encouraged the political involvement of young people at Stony Brook.
“Because all of you are young and are college students this is your opportunity to get involved and build the kind of world you want to live,” said Moumita Ahmed, a Stony Brook alumni and organizer of the New York City March for Bernie this coming Saturday.
The event was organized by “Seawolves for Sanders,” a group made up of Stony Brook University students and faculty members who support Sanders’ presidential bid. They have held democratic debate watch parties around campus, but this is their first major event.
“Advocating for Bernie was just not going to happen unless people went out and did it and said that we want this,” said Daniel Podolsky of Seawolves For Sanders.
The speakers primarily focused on explaining Sanders’ platform of campaign finance reform and reducing income inequality. Florida Law Professor,Tim Canova, who is running against the chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz for Congressional District 23, skyped into the discussion.
“I’m not running against my opponent primarily for her failed leadership of the DNC, but primarily for her failed representation of her constituents, which is all too common among elected leaders who take a lot of corporate money,” Canova said.
Critics of the Democratic National Commitee’s leadership have said that Canova’s opponent, Schultz, has manipulated the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.
The event also helped young registered voters think more about their decision for the democratic primaries. Freshman Dylan Bishop said that Professor Heather Gautney’s explanation of the differences between Clinton and Sanders was good information for him to know when making his decision for the primaries.
“I’m 100 percent for breaking glass ceilings. I wouldn’t be doing what I do for a living decades ago when they weren’t women serving as university professors. But I’m not for any women in the White House. It can’t just be any old woman or this particular woman in the White House. It can’t just be about breaking the glass ceiling. I’m not for a woman who has ties to wall street like she has.” Heather Gautney, Sociology professor at Fordham University, said.
The discussion also stressed on the importance of getting younger people to be more politically active.
“Millennials understand the issues at stake. If we all come out to vote, we will win by a landslide.” Moumita Ahmed said.