This story was written by Lisa Euker, Washington Square News
The New York University chapter of Students for Barack Obama was recently named one of the most active student groups across the nation by Obama's national campaign because of their extraordinary effort and energy, said Rudi Shenk, the campaign's national outreach director to New York.
The organization is not a club funded by NYU, but rather a group of students united in support of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, and NYU's chapter has 20 active participants along with dozens of supporters, campus coordinator Mika Rothman said. The group's work for the Obama rally in Washington Square Park this past September has been its biggest project so far, Rothman said.
"We were really involved with the planning and preparation of the rally, so the Barack Obama campaign deemed us as such," Rothman said.
The members of Students for Barack Obama spent hours of their time volunteering for the rally, said Jordan Budd, the media coordinator for the group. Some people helped with crowd control and others got people's contact information for the national campaign, he said.
"To know that you had a hand in moving 24,000 bodies into a small space to hear one of the most engaging speakers I believe to be alive, is something you can't help but grin about," he said.
NYU Students for Barack Obama was created about a week before the rally in Washington Square Park, Budd said.
Students have also been going to Obama's Manhattan headquarters every day to make phone calls to supporters and to petition for Obama's spot on the ballot, Shenk said.
"They've been instrumental in volunteering efforts," he said. "The NYU students in particular have been fantastic."
An NYU chapter of the Obama campaign is important because the presidential hopeful is popular among college students, Rothman said.
"Obama represents something fresh and new," she said. "His campaign is about hope and change. Politics carries a negative connotation with it, and Barack, more so than other candidates, rejects that message."
Rothman said the group plans to work on more projects, including a fundraiser concert. Members will also go to New Hampshire during the second week of December to help with the campaign.
"It's remarkable how many people have been involved in the effort from NYU. It's exciting how eager folks are to come out and help with the campaign," Shenk said.
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