With the Virginia Primary Election coming up on March 1st, Florida Senator and Republican presidential nominee Marco Rubio made his way around the state of Virginia on Sunday, rally to rally. Luckily for the city of Salem, his last stop of the day was right here at Roanoke College. There wasn’t a seat open in Homer T. Bast Gymnasium, which probably contributed to the insane heat in the gym. On the bright side, Rubio promised (before a hysteric laugh by the crowd) on his first day in office to issue a federal grant for air conditioning in the gym.
Senator Rubio started off his Rally with some comical remarks about businessman and current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, and eventually made his way around to his plans to lead this country to a new America century. Whether it was a comment about Trump, a notion to take care of veterans, or a comment about the vigorous heat in the gym, it was quite clear that the crowd was nothing but excited to have the senator in town. Keeping in mind, this was a crowd vastly populated by college students, most of them being students here at Roanoke. Some students in fact were more into the Republican nominee than the general crowd however.
Backed by willing volunteers and students interested in politics, the Students For Rubio Chapter at Roanoke College was granted access to help out directly with Rubio’s campaign staff, as well as the security on hand for the event. The students were responsible for registering every person that walked through the doors, and all it took was an app on your smartphone.
Rubio’s Campaign staff uses an app called EventBrite to track the number of people that enters the rallies, giving them a sense of attendance from event to event. In addition to counting the number of those in attendance, the app allows the campaign staff to have contact information for those that register. If you were wondering what the benefits to a campaign are for selling free tickets, this marketing strategy is the answer. Through this app alone, Rubio’s campaign staff receives contact information from everyone entering the rally, allowing them to further contact them after the event in attempts to get their vote on March 1st. But it wasn’t Rubio’s campaign staff doing this all night long, in fact it was students here at Roanoke apart of the Students For Rubio Chapter, and they were fired up about it.
A member of the Students For Rubio Alex Boone (Sophomore Political Science Major) commented on the opportunity by saying, “It was a great opportunity to work hands on with the rally and I’m glad so many other Roanoke students got to se what it takes to host a massive rally like we had in Bast. It meant a lot to me that Marco came to Roanoke to share his message and I’m excited about how many other students, faculty, and staff got to hear his unifying, optimistic, and conservative message.” It was pretty evident that all of the Students For Rubio had this same genuine passion that Boone expressed, and were grateful of the opportunity.