Recently, a former Governor and current Presidential candidate, arguably one of the most famous and talked about figures in American life of the past few months, came to our small pocket of Central Wisconsin to speak at Stansbury Theatre, where we all used to go for our Freshman Studies lectures. And no one seemed to care.
This is, of course, no accident. I am acutely aware of how liberal the Lawrence campus is — both faculty and student populations alike. Frankly, I view it as a lack of respect that Governor Romney received from our administration and some student organizations. Personally, I received one email — a single, non-descript email — telling students that this man was coming to our campus. No signs plastered around campus. No big advertisement on our website, or on the HDTVs in the campus center.
I think this goes to show just how liberal this campus is — that a man as powerful and prominent as Mitt Romney can come to our campus and a regular student very well could have gone about their business and not even known about it, simply because he is a conservative.
I want you now to imagine that President Obama came to speak at Stansbury. Do you think President Beck would have maybe sent an email out, encouraging you to go? Perhaps a few advertisements would have been thrown around campus? Lawrence probably wouldn’t have been so careful as to include the “we don’t endorse political candidates for office” note in their email to the student body.
I don’t really even need to play this hypothetical game — Michelle Obama’s “town hall” internet meeting with college campuses a few months ago got far more advertising than Romney. Let’s be honest — Lawrence would have shut down the campus, held the event in the Chapel, and treated it as a special convocation.
A fair question to hit me with at this point would be, “Well, what do you expect? It’s Lawrence.” But I believe Lawrence should have taken this opportunity and run with it — this guy could be the 45th President of the United States, the most powerful man in the world, in November. We should have embraced this great, rare opportunity as a way for our small campus to get a little bit bigger on the American map.
Lastly, I found it embarrassing that the extent of **The Lawrentian**’s covering of this story occupied two entire corners of the paper. Yes, there were two other opinion articles regarding the visit, but both focused on the unfairness of the seating arrangements, not exactly the most important aspect of this event. Once again, imagine if Obama came to campus. Think his picture might have been prominent on the front page?