Students undertake Obama activism

By Hellen Behnke-Hanson

About two dozen U of C students attended the kickoff meeting for Students for Barack Obama (SBFO) last Wednesday to rally support for the senator’s presidential campaign.

“We focus on converting the grassroots energy and activism on campus into forms we can use to progress the campaign, and we want students to take ownership of the campaign and their political lives,” said second-year Chris Benedik, the communications director for the U of C chapter of SFBO.

Members’ support of the Obama campaign has included canvassing in Iowa, phonebanking, and fundraising for the campaign through campaign T-shirt and merchandise sales.

The undergraduate chapter of SFBO is not the University’s only involvement with the Obama campaign. The U of C Law School runs an independent but parallel chapter.

First-year Alessandra Stevens, who previously volunteered for Obama’s senatorial campaign, explained her support for the candidate. “I really impressed with his views energy. He’s the most realistic…liberal candidate,” she said. “He says what he actually means and doesn’t just stick to party lines.”

Senior and returning SFBO members were similarly enthused over Obama. “He gets people who have never been active in politics to volunteer and vote and care,” said co-coordinator Amanda Wingate, a third-year.

The U of C SFBO chapter will travel to Iowa to canvas for the campaign later this month and in early November.