Lantern file photo
The first stop on President Barack Obama’s campaign tour is Ohio State, and students are full of opinions about his visit.
Obama will speak at the Schottenstein Center at 1:25 p.m. Saturday, with the doors opening at 10:30 a.m. First lady Michelle Obama will join her husband in support of his campaign.
The public event on OSU’s campus is the official beginning of the 2012 election, and Obama has a rally planned at Virginia Commonwealth University later Saturday.
This rally marks Obama’s second visit to OSU’s campus in about two months. Obama spoke to about 2,600 people about his energy policies in the RPAC’s Tom W. Davis Special Events Gym on March 22. Prior to that, on Oct. 17, 2010, Obama spoke to about 35,000 people on the Oval about his movement of change.
Republican candidate Mitt Romney has also been in Central Ohio in the past week. Romney spoke at Otterbein College last Thursday about the economy and his plan to bring the nation back to a world leader.
Thara Nagarajan, a second-year in anthropology, said she is not surprised Obama is coming to campus.
“I have always been a huge supporter for Obama and I campaigned for him in 2008,” Nagarajan said. “I am not very surprised that he is coming to the Ohio State just because we are a swing state. If he wins in Ohio, he has a really good shot of winning in the whole election.”
Obama won Ohio when he claimed the presidency against Sen. John McCain in 2008.
Tara Besancon, a first-year in pre-medical dietetics, agreed that Ohio is an important state for Obama.
“I think his campaign is looking for projecting the young generation,” Besancon said. “Ohio is obviously a big state for voting. We are the perfect school for him to come to because we have pretty much the biggest Ohio student populations.”
Nagarajan also commented on the importance of appealing to the young generation.
“I figure he realized that young college-age kids are one of the most important demographics,” Nagarajan said. “He also realized college campuses have more liberal students, so it makes sense he is coming.”
Some students, like Lisa Rausch, a third-year in dental hygiene, are not so excited about Obama’s visit.
“I’ve been annoyed by all of the campaign workers who keep asking me if I’m going, and I’m not interested in going,” Rausch said. “Then when you ask them questions, they don’t know the answers and just walk away. It’s kind of rude.”
James Chevako, a first-year in finance, said he is also not interested in going.
“I won’t be going to the rally,” Chevako said. “I don’t really know that much about what he is coming for. Typically I haven’t really agreed with his viewpoints.”
While Justin Schick, a second-year in material science engineering, is not an Obama supporter, he said he thinks the rally will be good for students.
“I think it’s awesome that he’s visiting on campus even though I am not an Obama supporter,” Schick said. “It’s an opportunity for students to learn more about their president and the upcoming election.”