Students should have been given priority in rally

For the first time since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 visit to the Coliseum for the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics, a sitting president is visiting the USC campus.

President Barack Obama’s rally today has been hotly anticipated since rumors of his presence began spreading two weeks ago. Campus is swarming with lighting crews, Secret Service agents and tens of thousands of students, faculty and visitors eager to hear Obama speak.

The event has generated so much chaos and publicity that many students were left wondering whether it would be worth the trouble to arrive at 6 a.m. for the chance of being within earshot of the president’s speech.

Obama came to USC as part of a college tour to address our student body and drum up support for California Democrats. Central to his tour’s purpose is rallying the youth vote in time for November’s election. He is speaking to the community and he is speaking to his constituents, but ultimately, he is speaking to students. Therefore, students should have been granted entrance to the rally before non-USC affiliated visitors.

Coordination between university administrators and the Democratic National Committee should have kept USC students in mind. For example, USC could have proposed a system in which students with a USC ID were allowed access to a student section at the front of Alumni Park.

The chance to be present at a sitting president’s speech is a unique opportunity. For students to hear Obama speak at their own university is all the more remarkable.

Unfortunately, even though students are the target demographic of the campaign that brought Obama to USC, this was not an event that was catered to them. It is disappointing that the USC administration could not have structured the rally in a way that made it more realistic for the highest possible number of USC students to attend.

The next time a world-renowned speaker comes to our school to address us, we should not be lost in the shuffle. Hopefully, the USC student body has the passion and tenacity to not be deterred by long lines and heavy traffic.

10 replies
  1. Michael
    Michael says:

    I understand the frustrations, but I’m going to have to disagree. I’m glad it was open to the community and I think the University made the right move by having students in the same section as community members. With little notice and during the time of the Inauguration of Nikias, the administration did a pretty good job on educating students about the event. They sent out an email, they contacted PSA which brought about even more information… Yeah, it would’ve been nice to sit closer to the front, but I should’ve volunteered or showed up earlier to get those good seats.

  2. Daniel
    Daniel says:

    What a stupid article. It is people like you, unnamed author, who give USC students a bad name. Do everyone a favor and stop writing.

  3. Current USC Student
    Current USC Student says:

    I go here and even I think this is idiotic. Seriously? I think they addressed the university enough. As this was basically a Democratic Party rally that happened to be at USC, no one even needed to acknowledge the university, and yet I can’t even count the number of times I heard a speaker say something to the tune of “Fight On.” It was enough that the student speaker basically bypassed all serious discussion of political issues and talked about how great we are. It’s stuff like this — along with the fact that people complained about Sample speaking at the 2010 graduation — that makes me embarrassed to identify myself as a Trojan. There is a world out there, y’all.

  4. Trojan for Life
    Trojan for Life says:

    Why is a student’s schedule more important than any other American citizen’s? He is the President of the United States, not the President of USC. If you don’t appreciate his visit enough to invest some time, then so be it, but you are not entitled preferential treatment. I took the day off work, left home at 7:00 AM, got in line at 8:00 AM, and stood approximately 75 yards from the President. My sacrifice was well worth it. There were many, many, USC students around me, which was quite obvious when they raised their fingers in a V. Clearly, they valued this rare experience. You’re right, “this was not an event that was catered to them” (the student), nor should it have been. The President’s visit was intended to be inclusive for all Americans. For the record, I am an alumnus who also saw President Ford when he visited USC in 1976.

  5. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    I don’t think any of you guys understand what you are talking about. So THINK for a moment and stop sniffling like you go to the University of Spoiled Children.

    This was not a state presidential visit. This was a PARTISAN campaign event. I have no problem with that as I am an Obama supporter. But a private, or public, university cannot by any stretch of the imagination male any special, privileged, arrangement for its students or staff to attend an even organized by the DNC as part of an election campaign. It’s about that simple. Or do I have to explain it again?

    Poor babies are worried they might have to miss a class or actually stand in line with all those normal, regular people from the community. Geez, you’re lucky the community doesn’t gang up on you and turn USC into a much needed vegetable patch.

  6. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    I completely agree with this author! Considering the typical student’s academic responsibilities, it simply was not realistic for most students to get in line at 7:00am for an event that wouldn’t be over until well after 3:00pm. I got in line at about 8:30am and was amazed how many people from the community (with hardly any students or faculty) were in front of me already. I realize that the community is a huge demographic (much larger than the USC student body certainly), but it seems that if they want to use our campus and affect our students with all the set up / later security concerns, they might have gone to a little more trouble to see that USC students got some of the benefits. A small student section whereby to enter you needed a valid USC student ID might have been nice. Heck, even a general college student section where you needed some valid student ID at an area college would have been good.

  7. Steven
    Steven says:

    Who writes this drivel? If students were interested enough in seeing the President they would have simply shown up and would have needed a “preference.” Good heavens, they could even cut class. Looks like the reporters at your paper didn’t go either because I don’t see any real coverage of the rally here.

    By the way, students in different historical periods have made much greater sacrifices for important political causes than just standing in line. You sound like spoiled brats.

  8. Nathan
    Nathan says:

    This is idiotic. He did not come to address college students exclusively or as a guest of the university. The DNC rented out the area, and it was their right to do what they felt would have the greatest impact on achieving their goal of electing more Democrats. Tragically, USC students do not represent a significant part of the voting population. The USC administration did not structure the rally, and it was not their position to do so. And grow up; if you don’t want to be “lost in the shuffle,” then don’t allow yourself to be so.

  9. Ghost of RR
    Ghost of RR says:

    Since you feel like you missed out on something, I’ll sum up his speech for you. “Hope for Change.”

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