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YCT Reacts To National Coverage Of Anti-Obama Carnival

This story was written by Teri Ruland, The Battalion

Young Conservatives of Texas had an Anti-Obama carnival Wednesday in Rudder Plaza to demonstrate Sen. Barack Obama's economic policies.

"There were two events or two activities for the carnival. Throw away your nest-egg with Obama's policies to offer the opportunity for students to throw an egg representative of a retirement nest-egg that Americans try to build up," said Young Conservatives of Texas Chairman Tony Listi, a Texas A&M senior political science major.

Making students aware of the policies is what YCT is all about, Listi said.

"We just want to make sure that students understand what Obama's policies are, and what they will do to the American economy, which is already suffering," he said.

There was another event, titled socialist-on-a-stick ring toss, in which students were encouraged to throw rings around the Halloween masks of Sen. Hillary Clinton and Obama.

"These events were meant to encourage political discussion among A&M students," Listi said. "Quite a bit of political discussion happened. In that regard, we view the event as a success. Unfortunately, the crowd grew larger around our event, became out of control and the heckling of YCT members effectively shut down our event."

The event was intended to be a metaphor for what voters would be doing if they voted for Obama.

"I guess the concept of a nest-egg really was not emphasized enough and was not grasped by those in the crowd because that was what the egg represented," he said. "I don't know how many college students understand what a nest-egg means. It's saving up for retirement."

The subject of race was never an issue according to Listi.

"Everything was centered around Senator Obama's policies. My opinion is that race was injected by the critics and the crowd," he said. "Furthermore, we had Clinton in our socialist-on-a-stick ring toss. So this was clearly not about race."

Several students gave their opinions about the Carnival.

"I'm very conservative, but I thought it was a little ridiculous. They could have passed out the pamphlets. It makes them look bad," said Jenny Burchett, a senior psychology major.

Though some claimed conservative as their political views, another student didn't care one way or the other.

"It's embarrassing that we had something set up where we were throwing eggs at a potential Commander-in-Chief. It's disrespectful, I mean there are more constructive ways to express opinions than throwing eggs," said Drew Stallard, a senior psychology major.

While some students regarded the event as ridiculous, another expressed the silliness of people's concerns.

"To me, it's a picture. I wouldn't make a big big deal about it. It has nothing to do with me voting one way or another. They're making it be turned into race. It does exist, I know, but people like to pull that card a lot," said David De Leon, a junior kinesiology major. "If I would have been there and the eggs were free, I would have thrown it. Most probably didn't care who it was. I think it sucks that we're not allowed to throw [eggs] at a picture. Everyone just needs to relax a little bit and just not care so much."

Though, YCT will retool the event and try to run it again on Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., YCT's director Jay Cunningham said. He said the pictures will be changed and that there will be a bullet-point display of Obama policies that YCT supported and disagreed with.

"We got a lot of feedback," Cunningham said. "But the most effective criticism we got is that we have a picture of Obama and [Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe] Biden, and outline the policis that we disagree with. Hopefully, they won't shut us down again and we can exercise our freedom of speech."