In the commotion for reelection, United States Senator for the state of Minnesota Al Franken travelled to Gustavus to promote the “get out and vote” effort.
Senator Franken came to campus on Tuesday, Oct. 28, and talked to students about the importance of voting. The Senator also discussed his record in the Senate and the political differences he sees between himself and his opponent Mike McFadden.
Senator Franken began his speech in a humorous way in order to promote students to “get out and vote” in the midterm election on Tuesday, Nov. 4 and to highlight the importance of voting.
“Most of you, I guess all of you, were not eighteen in 2010, and that as an excuse for not voting is really a good one. So that one wasn’t your fault, but this one is your responsibility. It is so important for the future of this state,” Senator Franken said.
Senator Franken has been speaking at many colleges throughout the final weeks before the midterm election. In Franken’s address, he emphasized the importance of students casting a vote and why he was here to specifically speak to Gustavus students.
“A college campus is one of the best places for why I am running, for why I want to keep doing this job. You come here because you want to do stuff, you want to solve some scientific mystery that no one has ever solved before, you want to become a leader of your community, you want to start an innovative business,“ Senator Franken said.
Junior Political Science and English Major Delany Sweet was in charge of organizing this event. She is the Democratic Farm-Labor (DFL) Youth Coordinating Fellow at Gustavus, and her main job is to activate students to vote.
Sweet highlighted the importance of college students casting a ballot on Tuesday.
“You are a student in Minnesota for these four years and the legislature that happens here will affect you. Right now a lot of things are happening at the state level more so than the national level and so these representatives are the ones that will affect your day to day life and that’s why it’s so important for students to be informed,” Sweet said.
Students who attended the event heard speeches from Minnesota House Representative Clark Johnson, Lieutenant Governor candidate Tina Smith, and Senator Franken.
First-year student Danielle Trajano, who has been volunteering for Clark Johnson, attended the event and was happy to get more informed about the candidates running.
“I thought it was really fun. It was interesting to get to know more about the candidates. I didn’t know that much going into voting because I haven’t voted yet,” Trajano said.
Sweet was very excited about this event and the opportunity to educate students.
“I think this is a really good opportunity for students who aren’t really sure who they are going to vote for or don’t really know a lot about politics to go and just hear about it,” Sweet said.
Senator Franken ended his speech with a call for students to not only vote, but to promote others to do the same.
“This is your is responsibility. We need you to go from here today, and we need you to vote but more than that we need you to help the get out and vote effort,” Senator Franken said in his address.
As students heard at the event, Election Day is on Tuesday, Nov. 4.