Rewind: Rallying Cries


Event Spotlight: Rally for Change at Arizona State University
By Luke Messac

7,000 students, seniors, veterans, and community members filled Arizona State University's Hayden Lawn last Friday. They gathered to hear Senator Obama decry the smallness of today's politics and declare a new direction for the future:

"We don't need somebody who knows how to work the system. We need somebody who knows how to change the system.  We don't need somebody who knows how to play the game better. We need somebody to put an end to the game-playing.”

The message and vision that Obama laid out in his speech was enough to win more than a few new supporters in the crowd. Farryl Bertmann, a 32-year-old graduate student from Mesa, Arizona, came to the rally as a curious Clinton supporter. But after seeing Obama and speaking to others in the crowd, she had changed her mind: "Now I'm 100% behind him. So many things he said resonated with me."

With the event behind them, this chapter’s work is far from done. With Arizona's February 5th primary less than four months away, the group will make weekly trips to the nearby Obama campaign office to call Arizona voters.  Every weekend, they will canvass in the local area to spread Obama's message to the community and sign up more supporters. And next week, students will be making their monthly six-hour drive to Las Vegas to knock on doors in preparation for Nevada's caucus. 

Another Rallying Cry 

Ami ElShareif, University of Wisconsin-Madison chapter coordinator, reported the success of their Rally for Change earlier in the week: "The passion and sincerity with which he spoke confirmed my motivation for being involved with the campaign. Looking out over the crowd, the range of emotions were almost incomprehensible. Seeing everything from laughter to tears showed that each and every audience member connected with the Senator on a personal level."  The Wisconsin event, planned largely by the UW SFBO chapter, had about 3000 students in attendence. It garnered a significant amount of positive media attention (see here, here and here).

Can Iowa’s Youth Tip the Scale?
By: Sierra Gladfelter, high school blogger

If you are like me and have been lamenting the negative predictions surrounding the Iowa Caucus, I offer hope! A recent article in The New Republic  reports the poll used to generate these percentages is calculating that only 2% of the potential caucus-goers will be under the age of 25! That’s a pretty harsh assumption, and doesn’t give Iowa’s young voters much credit. According to CIRCLE, the youth voter research group, Iowa citizens between the ages of 17-29 represented 17 percent of Caucus participants in 2004. 2% is downright fictitious!

Barack Obama’s vigorous campaigning on Iowa’s high school and college campuses gives reason to believe that more than just 2% of these young voters will caucus, and that Barack can expect strong support from those who do. He encouraged the youthful attendees to volunteer for his campaign at Obama headquarters on Tuesday nights, which are specifically for high school students. "You can't have beer, but you can have pizza," Obama said. He knows what he’s doing: if you provide it (pizza, a forum for good conversation and engagement), they will come.

There are a lot of us under the age of 25 who aren’t children any more and have an opinion we are passionate enough about to share. Many traditional Iowa Caucus goers may be shocked when their teenage children and grandchildren ask for a ride this January down to the caucus.

It's not only Iowa high schoolers getting involved. South Carolina high school students (shown below) can phone bank with the best of them. 

What else is new?

In a recent email to supporters, Obama for America highlighted the work of Boston College students and Students for Barack Obama blogger, Josh Darr. Watch the video!

Facebook co-founder and Obama for America staffer Chris Hughes has been speaking at Iowa colleges about the upgraded Obama Facebook application unveiled last week.

The Obama campaign taught about 100 students the particulars of fundraising. 

Senator Obama will participate in a MySpace/MTV dialogue, October 29 at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The event will stream live on, MTV's and MTV Mobile.   

Obama made a stop at an East LA high school to discuss his plans to fight urban poverty and increase education accessibility 

Stay Tuned is constantly updated with the latest news about the work done by young people in this campaign.

There's more... is Live! A Great Political Resource!

Check out VoteGopher, one of the best political sites I have seen in awhile.  Entirely done by students and non-partisan, this site has position summaries for every candidate and issue imaginable, is  very accurate, and has a great theme!

There's more... is Live! A Great Political Resource! If you would like to see an entirely student-created, non-partisan website dedicated to discussing what really matters in the '08 election, the issues, then check out This site was created by Harvard students and is a tremendous resource for understanding the issues in the '08 Presidential election.  You can post videos, post on the discussion board for issues and candidates, submit quotes, and edit the editors' position summaries.  Also, it provides equal space for all candidates in the '08 election. is one of the most thorough and understandable political websites I have seen. I think that everyone at MyDD, in the spirit of direct democracy and understanding this election, will really appreciate this site.  It also has a great theme that you will enjoy!

There's more...

This Week with Students for Barack Obama (Sept. 23-30)

This was an action packed week for Students for Barack Obama featuring a 24,000 person rally with Senator Obama, a convocation address, a Walk for Change, and the many many other efforts of students on campuses across the country.


On Thursday, Senator Obama spoke in Washington Square Park, smack dab in the middle of New York University’s campus. Syracuse University alumnus Ericka Mitton was in attendance:

“Obama walked on stage to Kanye West’s “Touch The Sky,” and immediately made his political agenda clear. He painted the landscape of his platform and the masses cheered to hear a leader that shared their ideals.”

Senator Obama also paid a visit to Howard University to deliver an address for convocation. He called upon the students to not just reflect on a history of action, but to work with urgency for equality for all students and all people across the country.  

Students from Howard joined with their peers from American, George Washington and Georgetown and members of DC for Obama for a 8-hour bus ride to South Carolina this weekend.

Bharat Krishnan, an American University freshman, said that the trip opened his eyes to a part of the country previously foreign to him:

I realized just how different South Carolina is compared to northern Virginia.  I came across a 5-year-old girl who informed us we couldn’t talk to her daddy because he was in jail.  I came across an old grandma who had never heard of Barack Obama, but said that elections were important to her and she wanted to know more.  Surprisingly, a lot of people had never heard of Barack Obama.

More people across the country will be hearing about him as we continue to Walk for Change and as we all come together to support Barack Obama.

And now...

Featured Student of the Week:Sara Haile-Mariam

Sara Haile-Mariam, a junior at NYU, has found hope in Barack Obama:

“I think that my generation is often underestimated,” said Sara.  “We see the hypocrisy of Washington and I feel like the majority of us would argue that if a little bit of reason was applied to the issues plaguing our country, our world- we could collectively move towards concrete resolutions.”

She was not satisfied sitting on the sidelines of the campaign.  Sara picked up a pen and crafted a poem about what she could do with a five dollar donation and started to think what could be accomplished if all Obama supporters simply made a donation of $5. After setting up a fundraising page using, Sara got creative in her efforts and created a YouTube ad to promote her five buck campaign. Thus far Sara has raised over $1300:

My message to the Students for Barack Obama is this -- don't let the media, the skeptics, the pundits -- disillusion you.  There are so many of us rallying together -- if each one of us was to step up and do something extraordinary, to act on our hope, then perhaps those skeptical voices would quiet.

Also in the news:

Missouri University’s Barack-a-que
USC’s Barack the Vote concert
UMass canvasses NH
Southern Illinois University offers a class on Obama's Rise
Senator Obama draws support from HBCUs

There's more...

Students for Barack Obama Rewind (September 16-22)

In the news this week....




Numerous campuses around the country this week held countdown for change parties.



Some California-area students (above) took to the streets (well took to a table actually) as well.

Meanwhile in the Midwest, National Youth Vote Coordinator James Hannaway completed his tour of the state's college campuses (Read James' diary of his travels: Part I of the series here, Part II here, Part III here and the finale here)

R&B superstar Usher introduced Senator Obama at an event in Atlanta (the fundraiser offered a discounted ticket rate for students).   

The Obama campaign got shout-outs in multiple campus op-eds this week: George Washington University, University of Wisconsin, University of Iowa and Washington University

University of Wisconsin-Madison is at it again, now offering podcasts and an original promotional video for their chapter.

Ohio State University also got into the action this week, signing up over 300 new members of their chapter.



Not to be outdone, Iowa State University hosted Barack Obama at an event this week (shown above). According to the Sioux City Journal, "the crowd was so large and the stage so tiny that Obama looked like he was floating over the thousands of supporters."

Stay tuned to Students for Barack Obama blogduring the week for profiles on passionate students, updates on news from SFBO chapters and highlights from the campaign trail.

There's more...


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