Joseph Edgecomb / The Collegian
The auditorium was abuzz at Fresno Stateâ€™s Student Recreation Center on Friday afternoon in anticipation of the arrival of some famous guests for a rally supporting presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. But the hype wasnâ€™t for Clinton herself, or for one of her experienced political colleagues. Rather, the crowd was eagerly awaiting young Hollywood stars America Ferrera and Amber Tamblyn, who were campaigning on behalf of Clinton.
â€œThis is the most important election of our lifetime,â€ Ferrera said as she began her speech. â€œWe need to get up. We need to have our voices heard.â€
Ferrera, 23, is the star of ABCâ€™s hit television show, â€œUgly Betty.â€ Tamblyn, 22, starred on two seasons of the television show, â€œJoan of Arcadia.â€ The two friends â€“ who are also co-stars in the movie â€œSisterhood of the Traveling Pants,â€ and its upcoming sequel â€“ brought the message that students should be invested in what is going on this election season and can make a difference with their voices and their votes.
â€œI am begging you to get to the polls,â€ Ferrera said.
Tamblyn thinks students need to realize that what happens in this yearâ€™s presidential election will directly affect their futures.
â€œThis is the world weâ€™re going to have to inherit. Thatâ€™s why weâ€™re out here speaking,â€ she said in a post-rally press conference. â€œWeâ€™re going to have to inherit this planet. Whoâ€™s going to go forward and make sure everythingâ€™s going to be OK?â€
Also speaking in support of Clinton and encouraging students to get involved were Sean Maguire, who is currently starring in the parody â€œMeet the Spartans,â€ Simon Woods, a personal friend of Clintonâ€™s daughter Chelsea Clinton, and Eddie Kaye Thomas, who is best known for his role the â€œAmerican Pieâ€ movies.
â€œWeâ€™re here offering our opinions and itâ€™s wonderful that youâ€™re hearing it, but you all have the same exact opportunities that we do,â€ Thomas said. â€œI hope everyone in this room goes out and votes no matter who you vote for â€¦ Itâ€™s such an honor and a privilege and should not be taken for granted.â€
Many students came to the rally for the opportunity to meet Ferrera.
â€œI couldnâ€™t believe she was going to come,â€ said 18-year-old Aide Navarro, a freshman psychology major.
Navarro will be a first-time voter in this election, and after hearing the stars speak, she said she will probably be voting for Clinton.
â€œ[I got] a perspective of what [Clinton] is like as a mother and a real person,â€ Navarro said.
Clinton is using these young stars to reach out to students in a primary season where her Democratic rival Barack Obama seems to be the favorite among young voters. Tamblyn has gotten many questions from students saying they are pressured by friends to vote for Obama.
â€œI say, well, I think you should go look at [the candidatesâ€™] Web sites,â€ Tamblyn said. â€œFind out what their policy plans are, what you like about them, what you donâ€™t like about them. You have to make an informed decision about that.â€
The Internet has been a popular way for the candidates to court the youth vote. In addition to their regular Web sites, all the major Democratic and Republican candidates have pages on social networking sites MySpace and Facebook. Clinton and Obama also joined Republican candidates Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul in a youth-oriented forum sponsored by MySpace and MTV on Sunday. All four candidates participated by satellite.
Popular video-sharing site YouTube hosted debates for both the Republican and Democratic candidates in November and December. Ferrera and Tamblyn also had the chance to conduct a video interview with Clinton, which was posted on YouTube.
â€œYouTube is this wonderful tool,â€ Ferrera said. â€œYoung voters are looking for tools like that, where they can truly understand what these candidates are going to bring and how these candidates are going to change their lives.â€
Ferrera thinks that students will use these new tools available to them to make an informed choice about who to vote for.
â€œI donâ€™t think people are going to vote for Hillary because weâ€™re young stars,â€ she said. â€œI think weâ€™re privileged enough to be able to bring about the information to people who want it, and theyâ€™ll make their decision based on who they think is the best candidate.â€