Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders talks income inequality at a rally at Grand Valley State University’s Field House. (Jonas Quirin)
Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders talks income inequality at a rally at Grand Valley State University’s Field House.

Jonas Quirin

Grand Haven students’ experience at a Bernie Sanders rally March 4

March 7, 2016

A line, maybe a mile long, wraps around the field house at Grand Valley State University’s campus. Blue signs that read “Bernie 2016” are dispersed throughout the crowd. Chants of “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie” roars through the line of supporters. People first in the line have been waiting at the doors since 11 a.m.


This Bernie Sanders rally called the middle class and all Americans to action. Compared to the Donald Trump Rally that I attended in December, this rally had more of a friendly, welcoming feeling going around. There were no protesters.

At the Trump rally there were at least 11 before I left 30 minutes into it. Ignorance and hate was rooted in the crowd. Every time a protester was pulled out, the Trump supporters would point and scream offensive phrases. It was terrifying to be surrounded by. Trump ranted about his opponents and ratings the whole time, avoiding issues that matter. I kept waiting for him to start talking about his policies and what he is gonna do for America, but he never did.

On the other hand at the Sanders rally there was a feel of togetherness  The young and old coming together, every race and every gender coming to support what we believe in. As I look around at the young people in the crowd, I feel a sense of pride in my generation. Not just because they’re supporting Sanders, but because they are supporting something. They are out there standing for what they believe in, being involved. And honestly I think that’s the best anyone could ever do. Even when you aren’t yet eligible to vote doesn’t mean you should take yourself out of the whole process. One of the most important topics to be informed on is the presidential election and its candidates. It lies in the hands of whoever is elected. So saying “I don’t care” or “I don’t really have an opinion” shouldn’t be an option.

I feel unity in this crowd.

Sanders went through a whirlwind of issues and what needs to be changed in America. He especially emphasized the idea of people in this country coming together. Calling the crowd “brothers and sisters” and making us feel like a family.

Reactions in the crowd are supportive and expressive. When the issue of women’s rights came up, the crowd went wild and cheered for the candidate.

It just felt like he gets it. He really gets what is important to my friends and I, and he paints a picture of what we want America to look like.

But he also cares and you can tell by how he talks about issues.

Sanders is passionate; he yells and uses his hands because he wants to get his point across. In the last few minutes of his speech he uses the expression that sticks into my mind and shows his careness for the people, love trumps hate, always.

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