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Jackson State Buzzes With Excitement Over Obama Visit

"He's coming! He's coming! Barack Obama is going to speak on campus Monday...," said Hannah Francis last week, as she held out her cell phone displaying the text message. The news of Obama's rally is spreading quickly through text messages, emails, cell phone calls, and of course word-of-mouth.

Drew Daniels for Black College Wire
Obama at Tulane before the Feb. Louisiana primary

Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama will visit Jackson State University Campus on Monday, Mar. 10. The Stand for Change Rally will be held in the Lee E. Williams Athletic Center at 5 p.m. to campaign before the March 11 Mississippi primary.

The president of the campus chapter of NAACP Christopher Miller- a senior biology major from Jackson- is hopeful about Obama's visit to campus. "Last night at 1 am, I got a text that Barack was coming to JSU. I think that this symbolizes change become this is the first presidential candidate to come to Jackson State in a while. I believe that this will encourage students to vote."

The composition of JSU's student body is overwhelmingly similar to a large part of Obama's constituency base. Young African-Americans make up over 70 percent of the student body. Students are anxious to here about Obama's plans for increased educational opportunity through greater financial aid.

Obama's presence on campus will do great for the morale of the student body, especially in combating the negative image of African- American men, so often portrayed in the media.

Dillon Robinson, a junior pre-med student from Crystal Springs, Miss., as SGA president- elect, commented on the significance of a black man running for United States President. "I think it is great that to have an African- American male of Barack's caliber running for president. He is a very positive role model for African- American males, and an individual I have great respect for."

Robinson added, " I think it is great that Barack Obama is going to visit the campus of JSU. It is good to know that a candidate thought highly enough of Jackson State to come here to speak. It will provide great exposure for the school and it will give the students an invaluable experience."

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but an RSVP is strongly encouraged at Obama's Jackson campaign headquarters. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. For security reasons, do not bring bags and limit personal items. No signs or banners are permitted.

Rebecca Francis writes for The Blue & White Flash, Jackson State University’s student newspaper, which originally published a version of this story.

Posted March 10, 2008

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