A surprising amount of people occupied the Nursing Building Auditorium on the morning of Sept. 25. The event was a symposium on the “Historical Significance of the 2008 Presidential Elections” – part of the Founder’s Week Celebration.The presentations were made by four very passionate and educated panel members-three of which were Grambling faculty.
The first presenter was Dr. Barry Stentiford, an associate professor in the History Department. His speech was titled “The Yin and the Yang: The Significance of Campaign Rhetoric in the 2008 Presidential Elections.”
He addressed the surprising similarities between the two parties and their leaders, and their dependence on each other to thrive. He believes that the rhetoric of “my party will save the world, and the other is evil” is wrong and should not be the mindset of voters this election.
Stentiford received smiles and chuckles after he commented that in the past he has voted for both the Democratic and the Republican Party. He advised that voters should consider the candidate who is sober and well equipped to revive the economy.
The second presenter was Dr. Delilah Dotremon of the Criminal Justice Department. She strongly believes that Obama brings an excitement to Americans, both young and old.
However, she advocated Sarah Palin by reiterating that she is capable of and knowledgeable about protecting the American Border and Defense Policy Issues.
“Gender and Race should be placed on [the] back burner.” she said.
She informed the audience that individuals should consider the candidate who has answers to the critical questions that arise in today’s society. They should not dwell on gender or race.
The third presenter, Dr. Parvin Lalehparvaran of the Mass Communication Department, firmly labeled Sen. Obama as an “Agent of Change.” She categorized him with the likes of Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King. All of whom represented those in society who were unable to help themselves. She declared that we are experiencing the “…beginning of a New America.” She urged individuals to “rise above race and color” and be seen for their “character”.
Johnny Riley, director of Community Affairs for the City of Monroe and alumni of Grambling, was the last speaker. His speech focused on the “Significance of the 2008 Presidential Election to Local Governance and Community Development: A City-Wide View.” He urged listeners to ask themselves W.I.I.F.M? (What’s In It For Me?).
He said that people should not be fooled by commercials and the hype but focus on jobs after college, small business development and community enhancement. He profoundly noted that it’s not about Black or White. It’s about Green- Money and Economics.