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Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken to speak in Kagin

Joining an already esteemed list of speakers on campus this year, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Al Franken will speak at Macalester on March 29. The event will take place in the Alexander G. Hill Ballroom in Kagin and doors will open at 1:45 p.m.

Macalester College Democrats and the DFL worked together to bring the senators to campus. While Mac Dems usually brings speakers to campus, Sen. Warren’s schedule provided this unique opportunity. She will be in the Twin Cities that day for the Humphrey-Mondale dinner, a large DFL fundraiser, where she will deliver the keynote address.

“When they raised the opportunity to us, it was impossible to say no,” said Mac Dems co-chair Joe Klein ’16.

Warren, the current senior senator for the state of Massachusetts, has an impressive record of tackling issues of income inequality and is a vocal advocate for holding banks accountable. She currently holds a seat on the Senate Banking Committee.

According to the Facebook page, the Macalester community agrees that this is a remarkable opportunity. At the end of the first day after announcing and creating the event, more than 230 people indicated that they would be attending.

The event was kept secret during the planning stages, as the organizers hoped to spur interest with a strong announcement.

“We were in discussions with reservations and different groups on campus to reserve the space before they even knew who the speaker was going to be,” Klein said. “It was very under-wraps because we wanted a big kick-off. We wanted to advertise this in a way that made people want to come hear Senator Warren speak.”

The event is part of Franken’s campaign for reelection this fall and he hopes to continue to build support among college students.

“Franken is a progressive champion with what’s going to be a tight race on his hands. He has a strong record of getting things done and fighting for issues that matter to younger generations, like college affordability, the cost of textbooks, and digital privacy,” DFL youth coordinator Alex Rosselli wrote in an email. “Sen. Warren knows the support of young voters could be the deciding factor that keeps Sen. Franken teamed up with her in the Senate, fighting for the causes we all believe in.”

According to the registration site, topics of discussion are likely to include issues relevant to students, including college affordability and internet privacy. According to Rosselli, Macalester’s culture and history of political engagement played a role in gaining the chance to host the speakers.

“Sen. Franken wanted to bring Sen. Warren to Macalester because he knows how engaged Mac students are in the political process,” Rosselli said. “He knows that Mac students share the same ideals that he and Sen. Warren champion on a daily basis.”

While the event seems to have already garnered substantial attention on campus, Klein encourages students to take advantage of this opportunity.

“I am absolutely excited to bring Sen. Warren here,” Klein said. “She is an amazing speaker and will captivate the audience and speak on many issues relevant to students at Macalester. This is a fantastic opportunity on campus, and I don’t think anyone should pass it up.”

Editor’s Note: News Editor Joe Klein ’16 was not involved in the production of this article.

March 14, 2014

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