Students head to inauguration to network, experience history
Nic Clark, a political science senior, left, takes a look at the paper with his brother Kyle Clark, a human biology sophomore, before leaving Tuesday morning to drive down to Washington D.C. for the inauguration. Clark, who was an intern with the Obama campaign, formally known as the Campaign for Change, and eventually was in charge of voter registration. He went to D.C. with four coworkers a week before the inauguration. “The young people, the first time voters, they worked their assess off.” Clark said. “Everyone is completely jacked up about (the inauguration).”
MSU students will be scattered among the millions of people attending the inauguration — and each of them has their own reason for attending.
But whether they are going for business or fun, they will all have the chance to join in one of the nation’s largest celebrations.
Zoology senior Cara Callison, who is driving to the inauguration, said she just wanted to be a part of history, and this is one of the biggest events to happen during her lifetime.
Callison will travel with a friend and stay with her sister in Washington, D.C.
“She could have gotten $10,000 for the week for her house,” Callison said. “(But) she wanted to go to the inauguration, so I kind of talked her into it. I told her I’d come stay with her if she didn’t rent it out.”
Political science senior Nic Clark, who was an intern for Obama’s campaign, plans to experience the inauguration in a different way. In addition to attending the swearing-in ceremony and the nation’s first Youth Ball — both of which he has tickets for — he plans to make contacts for a future job.
“It’s totally business,” he said. “We’re going to have a lot of fun at the balls, but we’re there to work. That’s kind of how it is in politics … (We’re) trying to make as many contacts, shake as many hands, as we can.”
Clark said he will bring his résumé with him and will look at apartments in Washington, D.C.
Urban and regional planning senior Mark O’Neall said he and his friends followed the news throughout the election season and had been discussing taking a road trip together. When they realized they’d be able to stay with his roommate’s sister in Washington they saw it as an opportunity.
“I’m missing a few important classes, but my professors have been surprisingly supportive,” he said. “Both are just jealous that I’m getting to go.”
O’Neall said he and his friends don’t have any concrete plans in D.C., with the exception of getting up early to see the swearing-in ceremony.
Although the crowds for the inauguration are expected to be huge, Callison said she is excited just to be around so many people who are just as excited as her.
“Being in the crowd will be enough,” Callison said.
“Everyone’s going to be so pumped that it’s just going to be electricity — whether you can see anything or not, you can just feel it.”