By Tim Drugan-Eppich
Turns out sports aren’t the only thing UNH students get excited for.
Roaring crowds and chants of “Bernie” shook the floor and shocked the eardrums in the Field House as Sen. Bernie Sanders took the stage Sunday night. Most of his talking points were met with raucous support and a flapping of “Bernie” signs, complemented by shouts of “We love you, Bernie.”
The gym was hot to begin with, and all the body heat tightly packed into the stands brought the heat up to some serious perspiration levels, but that did not deter any of the intense supporters that gave time out of their day to show up.
“He’s the only candidate who doesn’t compromise for media support,” said Robin Lutjohann, who was in line for the event. “For all others, it feels like I’m voting while holding my nose.”
Lizzy Franceschini was also an avid supporter, for another reason.
“He reminds me of Mr. Hooper from Sesame Street,” she said. “A nice guy who cares about the problems of everybody and wants to help solve them.”
The actual speech was based off the main principles that Sanders is known for pushing: the wage gap and wealth distribution.
“The problem with wealth distribution lately is it’s in the wrong direction,” he said. “Together we are going to reverse that flow.”
This call for action on the issue continued.
“Greed is destroying this country, it is going to stop,” he said. “And we are going to stop it.”
This communal idea continued for a good portion of the speech.
“We need an economy that works for the American people,” he said. “Not just the people at the top.
The call for a “political revolution” made up a significant portion of the speech. This included the call to not only help him canvas and vote, but also to continue the support after the election. He made a point of saying that rich families and lobbyists could be beaten.
“When we stand together and take them on, we can transform American,” he said. “Millions of people standing up proclaiming enough is enough.”
An issue that got the crowd especially enthusiastic was that of the “tragedy of youth unemployment.”
He also called it crazy that people can’t get a college education because they couldn’t afford it.
Sanders commended UNH students for demanding the university disinvest in fossil fuels in his segment speaking to the issue of climate change.
Sanders also touched on his talking points regarding the change of privatized prisons, black men in police custody and how “it is a lot cheaper to send people to UNH than it is to send them to prison.”
This section included a point about holding police officers to the same standard of the law that they are hired to uphold.
After Sanders walked offstage to the song Power to the People by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, students milled about talking about the event.
“It was exactly what I expected,” said Brian Dezurick, a UNH student who attended the event. “I’m very excited. (Sanders) is going to do great things.”