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Spending the holiday in Nevada for a cause

ASU students head north for the three-day weekend in order to campaign for Barack Obama

 by Leigh Munsil
 published on Tuesday, January 22, 2008

<b>OBAMA SUPPORTER:</b> Sean Bowie, a political science and history senior, puts in about 40 hours a week volunteering with the Barack Obama campaign, making phone calls and organizing students in preparation for the Feb. 5 Democratic primary in Arizona./issues/news/703172
Bettina Hansen / THE STATE PRESS
OBAMA SUPPORTER: Sean Bowie, a political science and history senior, puts in about 40 hours a week volunteering with the Barack Obama campaign, making phone calls and organizing students in preparation for the Feb. 5 Democratic primary in Arizona.
 

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Many ASU students spent the three-day weekend shopping, partying or sleeping.
But Sean Bowie skipped classes starting Tuesday and took a road trip to campaign for Barack Obama in the Nevada caucuses.

The history and political science senior is one of hundreds of ASU students taking time to throw in their support for their favorite candidates this election year whether campaigning door-to-door, making phone calls or just posting their support on www.Facebook.com.

Bowie is a founding member and the director of Students for Obama at ASU, a nearly 400-member club, he said.

He left on Tuesday with three other ASU students and drove to Nevada, where they, along with UA and NAU students, went door-to-door in the southern part of the state, promoting the Illinois senator.

"Every single person on the campaign is important," Bowie said. "I'm one of thousands of people who are doing this."

Obama came to ASU last semester on Oct. 19 and more than 7,000 students and community members attended the rally.

Bowie said he helped organize the rally and had the opportunity to meet the senator after his speech.

"He seemed to be even nicer in person than I thought he would be," Bowie said. "I liked Obama's message and his optimism and his call for change."

Leading up to the Feb. 5 Arizona primary, Bowie and fellow members of Students for Obama will have their hands full, he said.

"We've got an interesting two weeks ahead of us and a lot of work to do," Bowie said. "It's really a semester's worth of work packed into two weeks."

Bowie plans to graduate this May but said he will be spending a significant amount of his remaining time at ASU working on the campaign.

Despite being nervous about making up the class work he's already missed, Bowie said that after Feb. 5 the pace will slow down, but pick back up again in the summer if Obama wins the primary.

Raul Alvillar, the Arizona state director for the Obama campaign, said the approximately 375 ASU students who actively campaign for Obama are "extremely important" to the outcome of the election.

"We have a great group of ASU students [helping on the campaign]," he said.
Students can be influential in getting others to the polls by convincing voters to support Obama, Alvillar said.

"There's nothing like a peer-to-peer conversation," he said.

The Obama campaign is planning to hold several events on campus, and the Senator himself may be making another appearance at ASU before Feb. 5, Alvillar said.

"There's probably a good chance that he will [come back to ASU]," Alvillar said.
The Obama camp has two office locations in Arizona one in Phoenix and one in Tucson.

Fellow Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton also has set up a Phoenix campaign office at Thomas Road and Central Avenue.

No other candidates have physical office locations in the state, although many from both parties have active supporters in Arizona.

Supporters of John McCain were making phone calls from Arizona into South Carolina over the holiday weekend, said T.J. Shope, chairman of the Arizona Federation of College Republicans.

Reach the reporter at: leigh.munsil@asu.edu.



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