It seems many students are “feeling the Bern” in Coral Gables. The University of Miami’s Young and College Democrats, in partnership with Canes for Bernie, coordinated an event Friday night to organize and rally Bernie Sanders supporters at UM into action.
The event, hosted in the Senate Room of the Shalala Student Center, was held with the help of special guest Masha Mendieta, a UM alumna working on the Sanders campaign. According to Mendieta, the Latino Outreach Strategist for the Sanders campaign, the purpose of the rally was to brief Sanders’s supporters on the status of the campaign both on a nation-wide level as well as here in Florida.
When outlining the strategy in Florida, Mendieta emphasized the simple staff structure that will rely heavily on volunteers. Volunteering for the campaign, Mendieta said, would primarily involve phone banking and collecting information about potential and current supporters.
The audience, including individuals of diverse ages and ethnicities, was eager to sign up to help the Sanders campaign in any way they could, feeding off Mendieta’s energy and enthusiasm.
When asked about the event, Dylan Swart, a senior neuroscience major who is also the president of the University of Miami Young and College Democrats, noted the nearly packed Shalala Student Center Senate Room.
Swart said the crowded room was a wonderful turnout from members of the university community and the greater Miami community. When they asked for students who would be interested in volunteering, the response was immediate.
“Fifteen hands shot right up and were ready to go,” Swart said.
Looking ahead, Mendieta mentioned potential outreach events planned for International Women’s Day on March 8, as well as a possible rally before the Univision Democratic Debate taking place on March 9 at the Miami Dade College Kendall Campus.
Mendieta finished the rally on an emotional note. She stressed that though two individuals may appear different on the outside, they are both marginalized in different ways.
“We are all part of the 99 percent,” she said.
Her final point was a simple, but poignant message reminding the audience why they attended the event.
“You are here to start a political revolution,” Mendieta said.
Feature photo by Staff Illustrator Thalia Garcia.