This year’s presidential election a ‘good time for change’

Christina Stavale

KSU-NAACP discusses candidates at first mass meeting

Daniel Calloway is a student paying for his own tuition and nearing the age when he will pay for his own health care and find a job. He said these things make this year’s presidential election an important one for college students such as himself.

The membership chair of KSU-NAACP said he sees the issues that affect him and stressed the importance that students “take matters into their own hands.”

KSU-NAACP had its first mass meeting of the semester last night to discuss the presidential candidates as part of Super Tuesday. Board members began by presenting information about each of the remaining candidates and then discussed important issues in this year’s presidential primaries.

“It could be a good time for change, with the possibility of having the first woman president or the first African-American president,” said President Brittnei Neely.

Jovan Stewart, sophomore biology and international relations major, noted the media’s focus on former President Bill Clinton in his wife’s campaign.

“I’ve tried not to listen because it’s her campaign,” he said. “A lot of people who wouldn’t necessarily look at her are looking at her because he’s so popular.”

Vice President Brittney Humphrey noted that the media have also focused their attention on having two minorities – a woman and a black man – running for president.

“Everyone’s big on race relations,” she said. “With Hillary and Barack, the issue has been with them being the minority and not what they stand for, and that’s usually how we classify each other.”

Secretary Ashley Bennett said before she read up on the candidates, she was unsure whether the nation would be ready for a black president. She noted the attitude of some people in the country and said she knows some people who fear Obama would be assassinated because of these people’s attitudes.

But after reading up on candidates, she said she realized race and gender should not be the primary concerns – it should be their qualifications.

“It has nothing to do with gender or race,” Bennett said. “Once you actually read the information on the candidates, you’ll see that.”

Calloway said while he hopes these factors will not play a role in the election, he believes having two minorities running for president could put people in a different mindset for elections.

“The U.S. is moving forward,” he said. “We’re doing better things right now. We’re allowing power to be spread out.”

Humphrey agreed, saying that whether Obama or Clinton is elected, having them as the two frontrunners for the Democratic party is a sign of change.

“I don’t know whether we’ve come far enough,” she said. “We’ll have to see.”

The group also discussed issues such as the war in Iraq and which candidates present the best solution for the crisis.

But for Stewart, issues here at home, such as education and the economy, are what he wants to see candidates focus on.

“I think the most important thing is to focus on the United States, which we have not been doing,” he said. “We have a lot of stuff over here that we need to focus on.”

Contact minority affairs reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].