Bill Bradley may be trailing Vice President Al Gore in the polls, but that doesn't stop a small but committed group of Penn students from thinking the former New Jersey senator will win the Democratic nomination for the presidential election. Tuesday evening, Penn Students for Bill Bradley convened in Stiteler Hall to discuss plans to promote their favored presidential candidate, a Princeton graduate and Rhodes scholar who first took public office in New Jersey in 1978 and remained for a total of three terms. On Penn's campus, a pro-Bradley student group formed in October under the leadership of co-chairs Matthew Oresman and Alison O'Donnell, both College sophomores. Although less than 15 students attended the meeting, the group itself boasts over 300 members -- a combination of undergraduate and graduate students -- which makes it the largest student campaign organization on campus, according to Oresman. The group's largest concern was the promotion of voter registration. The group is joining in a bi-partisan effort to bolster the number of Penn students who are registered to vote. Called "Voter's Awareness Week," group members are scheduled to be on Locust Walk all week starting next Monday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are plans for MTV's "Rock the Vote" program to attend, although "final plans are still in the works," Oresman said. The Pennsylvania primaries are on March 14, exactly one week after Super Tuesday -- the day when the race might be effectively wrapped up by virtue of the 13 different state primaries that are taking place on that day. Members also plan to make their presence felt during President Bill Clinton's visit today, as the group hopes to have a large number of supporters outside Irvine Auditorium this afternoon. "It is so important to know that there is support here on campus [for Bradley]. Hopefully there will be other Philadelphia schools here as well," O'Donnell said. Students discussed possible plans to travel to both New York and Florida to help in Bradley's campaign. The students who came to the meeting arrived with high hopes and admiration for the candidate. "I think that Bill Bradley is the best candidate for the race. I think he is a great man of integrity," said Doug Rennie, a first-year law student. Oresman agreed, saying, "The ideas that he [Bill Bradley] has for this country are better than any other politician in the country." "There are so many issues that need to be addressed and he is the only politician seriously addressing them," he added. On the very same night when the Bradley group was meeting, Al Gore and Bill Bradley debated in Harlem about topics ranging from gun control to health care and racial profiling. The Penn for Gore group, led by College junior Michael Bassik and College senior Shirley Zilberstein, held its first meeting last week.Comments powered by Disqus
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