‘Accepted actor visits campus, encourages students to vote

by Ben Rodgers

Actor Justin Long packed the Kent Campus Center Tuesday, to tell students why it’s important they register and vote in the upcoming election.

Justin Long is known for being “The Apple Man,” and movies like “Accepted,” “Dodgeball” and “Live Free, Die Hard.” Long has been visiting campuses all over the state, as a part of the Obama campaign’s Campus Takeover, telling students the importance of informing themselves and voting in the next election.

Before his appearance, the Obama campaign, Simpson College Democrats and Students for Obama passed out signs and registered people to vote.

The minute Long was spotted, the crowd cheered loudly in excitement to see this celebrity.

‘The two last things you want to hear is anything remotely political from an actor, and these are the best years of your life and enjoy them, and I’m going to say both,” Long said. “I’m truly not here to shove any particular agenda down your throat at you I am really just here for the purpose to encourage you to vote.”

To send his message, Long used a lot of personal stories that he could relate to students as to why he felt they need to be politically active.

“I know when I was in college I kind of squandered my vote, back in 2000,” Long said.

He then told the audience the story behind that vote and how instead of informing himself, he chose to vote for Ralph Nader to impress a girl. With how close that election was, Long saw how much his vote could have helped.

“I think Democrats and Republicans can agree that that was a very destructive eight years, so I vowed to make sure I helped promote that message,” Long said.

In 2008 another actor, Kal Penn, asked him to go around to college campuses in New Hampshire to talk to college students about voting.

“I was so struck by the enthusiasm and the passion that these college students, one of who I had been just eight years earlier, and how much interest they had in this election and I had been so apathetic and ambivalent when I was there age,” he said.

Long said this is what helped make him active and why he continued to do this and why his message is the important of voting.

“I am in no way politically relevant, but I do feel relevant in terms of being a citizen of this country and being someone who is now informed as to what is happening,” Long said.

He then said he had his own personal reasons for voting, just like everyone does, and that he was planning on voting for President Obama, but that he was not there to push his agenda. He did however give his personal reasons that related things in his life that pertained to education, the economy, gay and lesbian rights and the war in Afghanistan.

“These are all issues you should make your self aware of if you are not,” Long said. “Take 20 minutes and inform yourself, whoever you’re going to vote for inform yourself.”

Long said how happy it made him to see how active and excited he was to see people enthusiastic about this topic.

“To see that you are aware of the world and caring about your futures and the futures of everybody is really special and really nice to see,” he said.

In an interview, Long again gave his reasons as to why students need to be politically active and vote.

“It’s what the beauty of democracy, what this country is founded on; the idea that everybody’s voices can be heard and should be heard,” Long said.

After Long spoke, he took a group photo with the students that were there to see him along with signing Obama signs. Once Long left, Simpson College Democrats then “Stormed” the campus and tried to get students registered to vote.

Overall those who came out to see Long enjoyed hearing what he had to say.

“This was a great thing to have at campus,” sophomore Courtney Lange said. “I think it’s important for students to know what they’re doing and to know that their voice matters in this election.”