Kent State crowd reacts to Clinton rally

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Kent State’s Student Recreation and Wellness Center on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016.

Kellie Nock

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spoke to a crowd of almost 3,000 at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center Monday, covering national security and the significance of voting in next Tuesday’s General Election.Many woke up early to get in line as soon as they could.

“I was in line at 6:30 a.m.,” said Clayton Croom, a Kent State freshman political science major. “It’ll be all worth it if I get a selfie.”

The line extended from the front doors to wrap around in the parking lot, with vendors and volunteers along the way. The event was first-come first-serve and open to the general public.

“I came to this speech to support a candidate who has, more than anyone in history, the most experience at the highest levels in government running for president of the United States,” said Kelly Vinson, an ’88 alum.

Supporters and rally-goers weren’t the only ones outside of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center; Protesters Daniel and Gale Kelley stood in front of the crowd waiting in line prior to the rally, holding up signs berating Clinton’s past stances on war policies.

“She is an enormous war-monger and tells lie after lie especially about Russia,” Daniel said. “They want to get us into a war with Russia when that’s the biggest issue because that could end civilization.”

Daniel is an English teacher in Russia who is here for the time being. Gale, Daniel’s wife, shares the same stance as him.

“My number one issue is a worry about war. Hillary has always backed war. She’s very aggressive that way,” Gale said. “I don’t know if she has to be as a democrat, but we should be negotiating with other countries, not attacking them.”

Though the Kelleys are staunchly against Clinton and her policies, 85-year-old Anita Foote and her friends Phyllis Spangler (76) and Shirley Dubetz (89) disagree.

“We’re for Hillary and we need a woman president,” Foote said.

Many expressed their excitement at the prospect of the first female president.

“It’s a piece of history. I’m a Hillary supporter and to be able to see the future president of the United States is cool,” said junior organizational communications major Ellen Breighner. “We’ll (women) be represented in a way that we never have been.”

“It would mean everything,”  said 90-year-old Mary Evans. “She would make history for the first president as a lady.”

The anti-Trump sentiment was strong amidst the attendees with abundant “love trumps hate” signs.

“I feel like her whole campaign that I’m a part of it whereas with Trump, I don’t think his plans include me. I seem to be the personification of a lot of the remarks he has made. I’m disabled. I’m fat. I’m gay. I’m a feminist, and you know those are all things he’s made terrible remarks about,” said Sally Johns, 64. “I don’t feel he represents me, so his so-called ‘Make America Great’ doesn’t include me.”

Clinton’s speech covered national security as its main point and briefly covered student debt and equal rights as well. Clinton finished by urging everyone to go out and vote via early voting or attending the polls on election day.

For many, Clinton’s speech strengthened their resolve to go out and vote for her on Election Day. When senior fashion design major Sarah Johnson was asked whether she was voting for Clinton after viewing the speech her response was clear: “Oh, yeah. Hell yeah.”