Portland State University퀌_s Urban Plaza was overflowing with onlookers waiting to see Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in the early afternoon of Aug. 24. Brought to Portland with the help of PSU퀌_s College Democrats, Dean witnessed the largest turnout yet of his 퀌�Sleepless Summer퀌� tour.
퀌�Governor Dean wanted to come to Portland,퀌� said Saul Ettlin of the College Democrats. Seeing as how Dean퀌_s campaign is largely grassroots driven, he needed a venue for the rally, and Pioneer Square was simply too expensive, he explained.
When PSU퀌_s College Democrats were approached by campaign organizers, the student group no longer officially existed on campus. After past members made the decision to host the Dean rally, it was, Ettlin explained, 퀌�a bit of a scramble퀌� to get things organized on time.
However, after the necessary steps had been taken, including the resubmission of the group constitution, the College Democrats faced few complications.
퀌�Once College D퀌_s said, �Yes, we퀌_ll host him,퀌_ the university really took on the task of making sure it worked,퀌� Ettlin said.
Mike Arrington, head of Students for Dean and a member of College Democrats, explained that while most of the event organizing was done by national and regional volunteers through Dean퀌_s campaign, he was pleased with students퀌_ participation in the end.
퀌�The College Democrats퀌_ role was not as significant as it could have been,퀌� he said. 퀌�We served as a stepping stone, but we don퀌_t mind being used.퀌�
Since the re-emergence of the College Democrats on campus, the group has made plans to bring as many candidates as possible to Portland, specifically Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.
퀌�This was a good way to kick off the College Democrats, a rebirth,퀌� Arrington said. 퀌�PSU lost a big presence of this group. Hopefully Dean will reunite the grassroots fury that I know is out there somewhere.퀌�
For more information regarding the PSU branch of College Democrats, contact Ettlin at [email protected].