By Judah Taylor
From 9:30 to 11 a.m. Friday UK students had the opportunity to go on board the C-SPAN Campaign 2012 Bus as it stopped on campus for part of its Road to the White House tour.
Starting its tour in Ames, Iowa, at the Straw Poll last August, the Bus stopped on UK’s campus its way to the presidential debate in New York, from the vice presidential debate in Danville, Ky., Thursday night.
“The purpose of the bus is to showcase our resources, which are free,” said C-SPAN marketing representative Chris DeManche. “It’s an educating and marketing tool.”
Students who climbed on board learned about the website, mobile applications, social media, coverage of campaigns and how C-SPAN covers events, DeManche said, but they also learned about “the candidates, the Electoral College and topical issues like national security, energy, immigration, taxes and other types of issues.”
C-SPAN has had a bus program that has traveled the nation since 1993.
This year the bus includes a SMART Board and presentation area as well as a video library that dates back to 1987.
The bus gives visitors “a place where (they) can tour Washington (their) way,” DeManche said. “We’re nonpartisan, so we give you that fly-on-the-wall perspective.
“So, if you’re a first time voter, or you’re a student and you’re just kind of tired of different media outlets leaning one way or the other, then you can tune into C-SPAN where we turn on the camera at the event, and let you see what’s happening and let you make up your mind without hearing what I think or feel.”
The bus visit was sponsored by Time Warner Cable and UK Student Government.
“It’s an important time, not only for young people, but for the country in general,” said Nolan Jackson, director of Wildcat Interest Group and chief governmental relations officer for SG. “This is a presidential election year, and given the things we’ve been doing on campus in terms of voter registration and political awareness, it just seemed like an appropriate time to advertise an event like this and provide an opportunity to students.
“When we can provide an opportunity for students to learn about the election, why civic engagement is important, how to vote and where to vote, we’re happy to sponsor events like that.”
“Besides killing class time, the bus game me an opportunity to learn a lot,” said Payton Lutz, an economics and psychology sophomore.