An East Tennessee State University sorority is planning on a packed house Sept. 25 when the pre-election event “Freedom Rocks” pulls together political candidates, students and members of the community inside the D.P. Culp University Center auditorium for some casual but critical dialogue.
The free public event begins at 7 p.m. and is sponsored by Alpha Delta Pi sorority, along with the College Republicans, the College Democrats and the Female Majority Leadership Alliance.
The three main organizers are Roan Scholars Erika Wild, Emily Eisenhower and Alicyn York. The students are very enthusiastic and have put a lot of work into this, while learning how to put together a major event involving politicians and figuring out the best ways to achieve a bipartisan effort.
The sorority held a similar event before the last presidential election. It was such a success that another was planned for this year, said Wild, Alpha Delta Pi vice president for member education.
“In 2008, we organized this event, so we’ve done this before,” Wild said. “It energized students back then, so we decided to do it again. We’re hoping to have a standing-room-only crowd at this event. That’s what happened in 2008. It’s just an informal discussion. We want to encourage students to participate in the political process.”
Wild said the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and that a bluegrass band will be providing entertainment for people entering the auditorium.
“Freedom Rocks” is a nonpartisan effort to raise general political awareness among the student body and to encourage students to register and vote. The sponsors will hold voter registration at booths on campus the week prior to the event.
Invited speakers include U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, state Sen. Rusty Crowe, state Rep. Matthew Hill, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett and state Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. In addition, guests will hear from Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Brenda Lenard, Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for the First Congressional District Alan Woodruff, Sixth District Democratic candidate for state House of Representatives Michael Clark, and Republican Sixth District state House of Representatives candidate James Van Huss.
For information about “Freedom Rocks” or to arrange special assistance for those with disabilities, contact Wild at 608-3972 or firstname.lastname@example.org.