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ASM Welcomes President Obama!

September 29, 2010

In case any of you were unaware, President Barack Obama visited Madison yesterday and held a rally in Library mall.

Fast Facts:

–Chief of Staff Tom Templeton, Finance Chair Matthew Beemsterboer, SSFC Secretary Jason Smathers and Legislative Affairs Chair Sam Polstein were spotted in the crowd!

Vice Chair Adam (Suave) Johnson was on hand to MEET WITH THE PRESIDENT as he STEPPED OFF AIR FORCE ONE!

It was huge. Very impressive and amazing to meet the President right as he got off the plane.

Chair Brandon Williams met with the President before the rally as well.

I got to introduce myself, and the President, upon hearing my title, asked if I had any advice for him on how to run a government.  I, of course, laughed and asked if he had any advice for me!

–According to Steven Olikara (Former Diversity Chair and emcee for the event…lucky guy!)

UWPD estimated 26,500 attend event, 17,200 in event area. Entry line stretched total of 1.1 miles.

Tom Templeton shook Obama’s hand. Templeton said it was, “Amazing to see so many students interested in politics and to show up and listen to the president speak.”

He added he thought obama had some really strong points and he hopes we [all Americans, you, me, Badgers, EVERYONE!) continue to move our country forward

Much like his vision for America I have for ASM, in the fact that I hope we can work together to build a better campus apart from ideological divides and partisanship.

So why, you ask, were Chair Williams and Vice Chair Johnson as lucky as to meet with the president first hand?

“The White House wanted to have the students responsible for pushing student loan reform and healthcare at the airport and I was the one who led ASM and the All Big Ten Student Association lobbying efforts on behalf of the bill.” –Vice Chair Johnson in reference to his time as Legislative Affairs Chair last year

Chancellor Biddy Martin and UW System President Kevin Reilly felt that it would be important to have a student representative available to greet the President upon his arrival to campus.

As the Chairman of the Student Government, I was honored to have the opportunity.

I think ASM has come along way in proving to this campus that we have a legitimate commitment to the student body, and the President’s recognition of the student government’s work is indication of just that.” –Chair Brandon Williams

Olikara said it was an amazing experience.

“Just the energy. I felt like the students were really fired up. We came out in record numbers…largest event the president has done in office since his presidency. I think students were just really excited.”

As for the location of the event (LIBRARY MALL):

” [I’m] Glad they did it in library mall at the university. It’s a nerve center of campus..perfect to do it in center of campus..Very appropriate.”

Overall? “[The president] inspired me as he inspired the campus. It was an honor and a dream come true.” -Olikara

Meeting the President was a great honor and speaks volumes about where ASM is as an organization.  Our work is being recognized at the higest level and I feel extremely encouraged about our campaign efforts moving forward with the knowledge that people are paying attention and are taking notice. –Vice Chair Johnson

What did you think of the event? Did you go? Are you inspired?

Regardless of packed crowds, country music and long periods of time standing—hopefully you all got to hear Obama’s speech at the very least on a live feed or just on the news. Hope you all had a good time!

Here are some more pictures from the event!

Students skip class, but they don’t skip studying!

Tight Security

Spectators get creative to get a better view

Getting the Shot



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