On September 28th, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders spoke at the University of New Hampshire.
Clinton, who had just debated against her opponent Donald Trump at Hofstra University, arrived in Durham early Wednesday morning.
The University of New Hampshire, a school with a strong left leaning and proficiency for political activism had an unsurprisingly large turnout. The UNH Fieldhouse had lines of people coming out of every door. Of the 3000 that showed up only 1200 were let in. People who had been waiting in line for 2 hours or more were abruptly turned away, causing many to question the organization of the event. One Secret Service agent commented that “Around 1200 is what we prepared for and what was approved by the fire department, everyone is sorry that we had to turn so many away.”
Members of the Climate Action Group 350 NH, were especially disappointed to be turned away. “We were going to hold up these signs that said ‘Hillary, say NO to Dakota Access Pipeline’ we got right up to the door and they said they were full,” commented Becky Wasserman, a local climate activist. Fortunately, the people who were not let in were accommodated outside with a spokesperson for Clinton’s campaign.
Clinton and Sanders entered at around three o’clock, sharing a hug as a symbol of solidarity. Senator Sanders was the first to speak, voicing his support for Clinton and reiterating many of the ideas he had worked on in his own campaign. He started by saying “we have to think big, not small,” which set the tone for the rest of the event. One of the biggest talking points of the event was education reform, even the stage behind Clinton and Sanders said “Debt Free College.” This may have been because New Hampshire is the state with the highest percentage of students with debt, and the University of New Hampshire is one of the most expensive state schools in the country.
We have to think big, not small.
After Sanders spoke, Clinton took the stage, met by thunderous applause and a standing ovation. She continued on the topic of student debt, talking about federal policies she would put in place to increase state contribution to public colleges, and making tuition free for children with families that have an annual income less than 25,000 dollars. She voiced support for Maggie Hassan, former New Hampshire governor now running for senate. Clinton also touched on climate change, high speed internet and technology access for all
children, the importance of funding extracurricular activities in schools, and made an effort to maintain a “working across the board” tone by mentioning her work with republican representatives in the past.
Clinton touched briefly on her opponent, Donald Trump, mentioning how strange the election had been so far, laughing and saying, “I really don’t know what to make of it.” After she was done speaking, she greeted her supporters, shaking hands and taking an hour to take pictures.
Many Oyster River students attended the event as well as UNH students and local families, former ORHS student Abby Colby was even featured on the news network CNN. Today Clinton is visiting Des Moines, Iowa for an early vote event, then she’s off to Florida and Wisconsin for a series of rallies. The event at UNH was a great opportunity for a diverse group of people to hear Clinton’s policies, and encouraged many to get out to the polls on November 8th.
Writer: Lily Mangan