ONLINE EXCLUSIVE BY ANNA JENSEN
Actress Bellamy Young, who plays the First Lady on “Scandal,” spoke with students in Olmsted Center’s mezzanine about political issues that directly affect them and why she endorsed the Democratic Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, this afternoon.
Young asked students to introduce themselves while they sat in a circle around her. During the question portion, Young addressed the students by name and said hello to everyone as they walked in.
“It was a very personal discussion,” sophomore public relations major Liz Bregenzer said. “She invited students into the conversation instead of just standing in front of us and speaking to us.”
The event had about 50 people in total, mostly students, some professors and members of the Community of Racial Equity (CORE), a student group from Roosevelt High School, who coordinated the event.
CORE members made a Facebook event, which was shared with Drake members. ATO members came together because sophomore AJ Treiber saw the event on Facebook and shared it with his ATO GroupMe.
Bregenzer was stopped in the Olmsted Parking lot by Joseline Pena-Melynk, who helped coordinate the event and was informed that Young would be endorsing Clinton this afternoon at 1:30 p.m.
Young spoke about Clinton’s genuine efforts to unify the country through her efforts of inclusiveness to all minorities, women and LGBT+ community.
“I think November 9 the job starts regarding healing the division that has happened during the debate. The microphone has heard so much ugliness,” Young said. “The remedying must be done immediately and I think [Clinton] is the one for that because she is a listener.”
Pena-Melnyk spoke up at one point during the discussion on racial equality saying she was amazed at the turnout of the event because both genders and many minorities were present in the room.
After answering thoughts and questions from students, Young had each person in the room share what issues mattered most to them in the election.
Many students of color shared their concerns on racial equality, which received many snaps from the crowd.
One Caucasian student shared that racial equality was most important to him saying “We are all human so we should not shut those out who are different than us.”
Other issues were gun control, women’s rights and foreign affairs but overwhelmingly students agreed that education was of utmostt importance to them because of student-loans and Clinton’s plan for debt-free college.
Young shared how happy she was that all the students were so open and willing to share what they felt most affected them in the election.
During the question portion, a professor of education asked what has kept Young hopeful during the election since so much of what has been said is demeaning and negative.
“It has been the most negative campaign I have endured. I’ve had a pit in my stomach for months and months and months,” Young said. “The healing I have seen has been in rooms like this. I have seen such a defense game on the big stage and it hasn’t allowed me to feel hope yet, but here I see that people want the best for each other … When you get people in a room you can feel each other, we’re alive together, we’re on the planet together and we are shaping a future together and it opens my heart.”