A panel of community members joined Sen. Bernie Sanders on the stage of Shawnee State University’s (SSU) Vern Riffe Center for the Arts (VRCFA) Tuesday morning, where they discussed issues impacting local individuals as well as individuals around the nation.
“Hosting a national political leader like Sen. Sanders on our campus is good for our students and community,” Dr. Rick Kurtz, SSU President stated. “These types of visits spur discussions and healthy debate on important local, regional, national and global issues. The exchange of ideas is an important aspect of college life, and we are happy that our students and university community have this opportunity. Having this type of event on the second day of the semester definitely sets the tone for out academic year.”
As Sen. Sanders greeted the packed VRCFA, he asked if Portsmouth was ready for a dose of reality – a call panel members and those seated in the audience met.
“Today I’m very pleased to have a wonderful panel of people here to talk about issues you may not see on TV every night and some of them may be painful, but they are realities that impact not just this county and this state, but my state and every state in this country,” Sanders stated.
— Hundreds of people attended a rally in Portsmouth held by U.S. Senator (I-Vermont) and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
He spoke in front of a crowd at the Vern Riffe Center on Shawnee State University’s campus.
“I fully understand that Donald Trump won this county,” Sanders said. “I am here because I am an old-fashioned guy who does not believe in red states and blue states.”
People from all different backgrounds and ages showed up. Some arrived hours in advance.
“I’m very interested in what he has to say and I like his positive message about what he wants to achieve in America,” said Justin Bennington.
What stands out most about Sanders to Shannon Lykins, a recent graduate of Shawnee State University, doesn’t have anything to do with the senator’s political views.
“I feel like he really cares about the people he’s talking about,” Lykins said. “I feel like in politics, we see a lot of people who, they care more about the voters. Well, not the voters, but they care more about the vote.”
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