Local political organization reaches out to students, community

The opening of the new Falcons for Obama headquarters downtown encourages involvement from both students and community members, creating opportunities to learn through forum and acting as a volunteer.

Sunday, March 25 launched the opening of the new Bowling Green headquarters for the Obama for America campaign at 123 E. Court Street.

“One of the purposes of the office is to be the hub of campus and community involvement,” said Michael Hart, spring organizing intern and campus team leader.

Preparations for the new office location included the painting of murals on both the interior and exterior by sophomore student and volunteer Colleen Ryan.

“We started with white walls and wanted to create something that would feel welcoming and inspiring,” Ryan said.

Attracting involvement is one of the main goals of the Falcons for Obama, Ryan said.

“We talk to students on campus or even stand in front of the office downtown and talk to people on the street. We try and give everyone the chance to get involved,” Ryan said.

The student and community collaboration continued after the grand opening event with an open forum called “Women for Obama” that took place Wednesday, March 28. The focus of the forum was to openly discuss what President Barack Obama has done for women during his first term. Students and community members from all generations discussed benefits such as equal pay and health care for women.

“What our President has done with health care is not only helping women, but the country as a whole,” said Maryanne Clark, a community volunteer.

Clark is one of many community members that volunteers for the Obama for America campaign in Bowling Green. The interaction between students and community members offers students an opportunity that can’t be found on campus alone.

“Bowling Green has a very unique thing in its structure; there is a connective tissue between the students and the community members. The connection through this campaign exposes University students to the community they live in. It’s both rewarding and refreshing to have older generations in the community affirm the students’ activism,” said Michael Hart, campus team leader.

University and community volunteers work together on recruiting and engaging new volunteers in order to build a “well-oiled machine” as Hart said. University students engage in “Pledge to Reg,” a voter registration initiative for unregistered students as well as working in collaboration with the college of democrats.

The students and community members also work phone banks where volunteers call registered voters to gain support for the President in the fall election. The campaign will continue to run through the summer and will still be looking for volunteers from both the University and the community. The Falcons for Obama campaign is currently offering summer internships for students who wish to gain experience in organizational, campaign politics. For more information on summer internship positions or volunteer opportunities, contact Michael Hart at [email protected] or stop by their new home office any day of the week.