By Laura Aebi
Former Texas senator Wendy Davis gave a presentation to her supporters Wednesday evening on campus. The visit was arranged by the College Democrats at Texas State University in an effort to inspire young people to become more politically active.
Davis touched on the topics of the Black Lives Matter movement, Emma Sulkowitz, the female student who was raped in her dorm and proceeded to carry her mattress around her university to raise awareness about sexual assaults on campus, and even briefly about a set of mothers in Palestinian/Israeli Conflict trying to create peace in the war torn Middle East.
The event started at 5:30 in Evans Liberal Arts Building after being relocated from the LBJ Student Center. The lecture hall was mostly full as soon as the public was allowed in. College Democrats President Nick Laughlin said he was surprised at the turnout.
“I think we’re going to be at capacity,” said Laughlin before the event started. “I think we’re going to have people standing in the back, I think we’re going to have people sitting in the front.”
Laughlin was right. Thirty minutes before Davis arrived, announcements had to be made to direct overflow to sit on the stairs.
“We had a space reserved for 400 at first because it was the only room available and then we realized that was too much,” Laughlin said. “That’s a big space. We wanted it to be intimate. We wanted it to feel like she was in the room with us. We didn’t want it to feel like a lecture.”
Throughout her visit, Davis reminded her listeners about the need for empathy, asking her supporters to put themselves in other people’s shoes and to keep an open perspective. Davis stressed the importance of voter turnout, citing statistics of millennials having the ability to decide elections if they showed up to the polls.
“Vote, vote, vote- I’d say it more than once because it’s so important,” said Davis. “You can literally change the world if you do. You, as I said in my presentation tonight, are about to be 40% of the voting population in this country. Imagine how you could change the world if you decided you were going to step up and use your voice at the ballot box.”
Davis wrapped up her presentation with a Question and Answer session with the audience. The last question was a poignant one- “What do I say to someone who thinks their vote doesn’t matter?”
Davis responded by calling those who neglect their civic duty because they doubt it’s impact a “self-fulfilling prophecy”.
“‘My vote won’t matter’- you’re right, it won’t matter. You didn’t show up.”