Just in the last week, Monroe Community College has seen two presidential candidates, Sanders and Hillary Clinton at the Samuel J. Stabins Physical Education Complex (see at end).Interested in how these rallies came to be and other similar campaign rallies at MCC, I turned to Cynthia Cooper-Mapes, Assistant to the President for Marketing & Community Relations.
Cynthia said this was the fourth presidential candidate visit to MCC: Bill Bradley (Democratic Party) spoke in 2000 and Ralph Nader (Independence Party) in 2004. Nader also was at MCC in 1972 and 1982, but never as a presidential candidate.
Cynthia also explained the Sanders and Clinton appearances followed invitations by an MCC student association:
Student leaders of MCC’s Power to the People initiative (a get out the vote and civic engagement effort) invited all of the 2016 presidential candidates to speak at MCC. Witnessing the Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders events provided incredible learning opportunities for our students. They are continuing the dialogue through New York’s primary next week, hosting a debate watch party, more dialogue opportunities and an elections return party on April 19. We couldn’t be more proud of our students, who have shown a strong understanding of the importance of the democratic process and civic engagement.
Cynthia added that the campus photographer is looking for 2000 photos from the Bradley visit which we will add.
I was at Nader’s 2004 visit, even interviewed by Channel 8 News. In the segment, I was said to “strongly support Nader.” I liked Nader, but the darned paparazzi omitted, however, I was voting for Kerry as I disliked President Bush’s Iraq policy.
In his talk, Nader discussed how ideas championed by third parties often have gained widespread acceptance even if taking decades.