Jul 06, 2020

An appearance with a purpose

'I don't think people are going to vote for Hillary because we’re young stars,' America Ferrera of 'Ugly Betty' (right) said during Friday’s campaign for Hillary Clinton at the Student Recreation Center. Along with actress Amber Tamblyn (left), she brought out her points in favor of Clinton but encouraged students to make their own decision.
Joseph Edgecomb / The Collegian

The auditorium was abuzz at Fresno State’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 wasn’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.

“This is the most important election of our lifetime,” Ferrera said as she began her speech. “We need to get up. We need to have our voices heard.”

Ferrera, 23, is the star of ABC’s hit television show, “Ugly Betty.” Tamblyn, 22, starred on two seasons of the television show, “Joan of Arcadia.” The two friends – who are also co-stars in the movie “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” and its upcoming sequel – 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.

“I am begging you to get to the polls,” Ferrera said.

Tamblyn thinks students need to realize that what happens in this year’s presidential election will directly affect their futures.

“This is the world we’re going to have to inherit. That’s why we’re out here speaking,” she said in a post-rally press conference. “We’re going to have to inherit this planet. Who’s going to go forward and make sure everything’s going to be OK?”

Also speaking in support of Clinton and encouraging students to get involved were Sean Maguire, who is currently starring in the parody “Meet the Spartans,” Simon Woods, a personal friend of Clinton’s daughter Chelsea Clinton, and Eddie Kaye Thomas, who is best known for his role the “American Pie” movies.

“We’re here offering our opinions and it’s wonderful that you’re hearing it, but you all have the same exact opportunities that we do,” Thomas said. “I hope everyone in this room goes out and votes no matter who you vote for … It’s such an honor and a privilege and should not be taken for granted.”

Many students came to the rally for the opportunity to meet Ferrera.

“I couldn’t believe she was going to come,” 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.

“[I got] a perspective of what [Clinton] is like as a mother and a real person,” 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.

“I say, well, I think you should go look at [the candidates’] Web sites,” Tamblyn said. “Find out what their policy plans are, what you like about them, what you don’t like about them. You have to make an informed decision about that.”

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.

“YouTube is this wonderful tool,” Ferrera said. “Young 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.”

Ferrera thinks that students will use these new tools available to them to make an informed choice about who to vote for.

“I don’t think people are going to vote for Hillary because we’re young stars,” she said. “I think we’re privileged enough to be able to bring about the information to people who want it, and they’ll make their decision based on who they think is the best candidate.”

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