Gathering of the Bern attracts over 100


Photo by Katie Wood.

Halie Hamilton

The Young Democrats of Watauga County held an event to inform students and community members about the Bernie Sanders campaign on Wednesday.

The main points that were discussed at the event were health care, campaign finance system, ending the war on drugs and college education as a right.

“We wanted to see how much support we could get from this particular school and this particular county,” Anthony Venezia, parliamentarian of Young Democrats, said. “We felt that it was really right for the things Bernie Sanders was talking about.”

Kaitlin Stone, director of design and marketing projects lead of Young Democrats, said that the original plan was to hold this event in the Three Top Mountain room in Plemmons Student Union but was moved to the solarium after a larger-than-expected audience arrived. In total, about 130 people showed up.

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“Our hearts were expecting 500 but our minds were expecting 75 and it turned out to be a good mix of both,” Stone said.

Elizabeth Prier, executive of communication, said that the group is trying to get as much support as possible for the Sanders effort and give the community and students insight to what Sanders is trying to accomplish and how it relates to them.

“Anyone who wants to get involved should not sit around and wait for Bernie to get elected because it is not going to happen that way,” Prier said. “Bernie is asking for a political revolution and college students are some of the main demographic he is speaking to when he is talking about that. It is important for people to listen.”

This event started after Young Democrats realized that they had voting power in the state. Although they are under Democrats, they are a collection of Republicans, Independents and Democrats.

“We are using Young Democrats as a way to change everything, we are a group that are all tired of the status quo and we are ready to change it,” Stone said. “It’s so backwards that candidates say one thing to get elected and they do the complete opposite.”

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Prier said that organizing the group, Young Democrats was a long time in the making. However, Prier said the event was put together in two weeks.

“It was a whole semester of things falling into place to be able to make something this large happen with a team that is so established,” Prier said.

During the event, there was a raffle with the names of everyone who attended the event. Five people won the Bernie Sanders 1987 folk album and a Bernie Sanders sticker.

“It feels really good to see all of your hard work pay off,” Prier said. “There is so much more to do, but this is start.”

Story by Halie Hamilton, News Reporter

Photo by: Katie Wood