The registered student organization Students for Ron Paul hosted the "Rock for Ron Paul" concert from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Chi Omega Greek Theater at the University of Arkansas. A variety of musicians performed to promote political awareness. In addition to music, testimonials were given by individuals both in support and opposition to the Ron Paul movement. Portions of his speeches were also viewed via YouTube. The concert was sponsored in part by Qdoba's Mexican Grill, which provided free chips and salsa to those in attendance.
A member of Students for Ron Paul organization said the group was motivated to host the event because the publicity of music helps present their political views to the general public and the community. "We're not trying to suck them into politics, we're just trying to get them involved," said David Fryauf, vice president of the RSO. "There are a lot of inspiring and funny videos, and that's what we want people to see."
The featured acts of the concert included Bright Shade of White, Apartment 5, Memphis Pencils, Timber, Wing and a Prayer, Up with Freedom and Sandy Rowles. Each act performed voluntarily, either because they were in support of Ron Paul or merely enjoyed performing.
"Most of us working with student groups don't want to get in people's faces but rather present information to them," Fryauf said.
Students for Ron Paul came up with the idea to host the concert through the off-campus area group for Paul. In addition to this concert, they've also been tailgating and chalking the UA.
The members of Students for Ron Paul are in support of many of Paul's reforms, including his goal to lower taxes and have less government involvement. However, being against the war on drugs takes on a greater manifestation for students.
"[Paul] doesn't want to waste resources on the prison system," Fryauf said. "He probably wouldn't legalize drugs but maybe downgrade possession to a misdemeanor, maybe soften up the drug policy."
Paul stands out because he's not a politician and isn't charismatic, Fryauf said. He's an honest guy with a strong philosophy and he's a candidate of principle, he said. A video which can be found on the Internet shows Paul running for president in 1988 as a Libertarian and supporting the same issues today as he did then, Fryauf said.
While there is a lot of support on campus for Paul, there are some politically savvy individuals who disagree with Paul's stance on certain issues. Many people are simply jumping on Paul's bandwagon without fully reviewing his policies, said freshmen Dylan Jones.
Paul's goal to reduce the education system and give educational decisions to the states will cause a diversity problem, in that there will be fifty different standards for education, Jones said. This will make it more difficult to get a job in an alternate state. "If Paul was the president, nobody would be able to go to high school," Jones said.
Although the concert was in support of Paul, the Students for Ron Paul were open to opposing opinions. The goal of the concert was to raise awareness in the community of Paul and to get people involved in the political process.
© 2007 Arkansas Traveler via U-WIRE