An estimated 20,000 people showed up to UC Davis’s Hutchinson Field on Wednesday to show their support for Democratic outsider Bernie Sanders. An excited campus embraced the news that Sanders would be showing up to their college town as part of his tour of California.
Hutchinson Field filled up rapidly, as college students and locals came out both to support and protest the presidential candidate. Hutchinson Field, however, got a little too full for the large crowd, but Sanders, ever-loyal to his supporters, vowed to make the speech to his fans regardless.
After the field filled up, a line still wrapped around Dairy Field all the way to Schaal Aquatic Center. Sanders acknowledged the large crowd. As he stood out on the podium looking at the estimated 6,000 people that could fit on Hutchinson, with another 14,000 waiting in line to listen to him speak about economic reform and affordable college, he silenced the “Bernie” chanting to announce that he wanted to speak to everyone, not just those that got onto Hutchinson Field.
“It isn’t fair that only a small percentage get to be here, while others wait out in the heat,” the senator from Vermont said. “I will make sure that all of you get to hear this, not just a select few.”
Sanders then walked away from the microphone and disappeared from the stage. Minutes later, a cracking sound came from the top of the water tower that overlooks the city. In anticipation of the large crowd and lack of space, Sanders’ crew hooked up microphones to the water tower.
Sanders continued his speech overlooking the city, as an attentive 20,000 people hung on to his every word, erupting when he emerged from the ladder that leads up to it, walking out to Edwin Starr’s War.
“I was scared when he left. I thought he was blowing us off,” said Claire O’Farrell, a second-year art history major. “When he came out to the water tower, I had goosebumps. I almost started to cry. I truly felt like I was part of the revolution.”
The majority of the crowd was equally as impressed, but some people felt that it was over-the-top.
“If you don’t get here on time, you shouldn’t get to hear him speak. It’s like he’s giving out charity to those that don’t deserve it,” said Lew Richard, a fourth-year economics major. Richard came out to hear Sanders speak on economic policies and came out impressed, but says he “wasn’t a fan of the way Sanders handled his entrance.”
Regardless of one’s beliefs on Sanders’ entrance, exercising one’s voice is what matters. Voter registration has ended for the campaign, but those that are in the system should be sure to cast their ballots before the June 7 primary, and again for the general election in November.
The Democratic hopeful is making his final California push before the June 7 primary.
You can reach ETHAN VICTOR blah blah blah email blah blah blah email@example.com and blah blah blah Twitter @thejvictor.