Ben Carson, a leading Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election, featured a campaign bus on Troy University’s main campus on Friday, Nov. 13 near the Barnes and Noble patio.
The recreational vehicle was displayed for student and public viewing in addition to an informational table with pamphlets and flyers that detailed Carson’s platform.
Carson himself was not present for this event; however, four members of his Alabama campaign team presented his platform on his behalf.
Joyce Clark, a nurse and Alabama state volunteer coordinator plays an active role in Carson’s campaign.
“Our goal is to get the bus to every state in the country,” Clark said.
Brandon Matthews, a senior political science major from Greenville and president of the College Republicans at Troy, said that he was contacted by Carson’s Alabama campaign team to facilitate this event.
“I thought it was good idea to bring the bus to Troy’s campus to not only bring attention to a conservative candidate like Dr. Carson, but also to promote political engagement on campus,” Matthews said.
Clark expressed her affiliation with Carson and shared his story with those in attendance.
“I first heard Carson speak at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013 and he is a devout Christian who talked about his faith and after hearing his speech, I thought ‘maybe there is hope,’” Clark said.
Clark then began to volunteer with his campaign at various events across the county, and she serves with the political action committee which can raise funds and does not limit how much can be donated to the 2016 campaign.
“He (Carson) is humble, he is brilliant, and he is so good at going to the experts and getting their feedback on decisions,” Clark said.
Carson is a retired neurosurgeon from Johns Hopkins Hospital, and he is most well-known for his successful operation of separating conjoined twins in 1997.
Carson was raised in Detroit by a single mother who expressed the importance of literacy and education, though she had dropped out of school in third grade.
He is the author of several books including “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made this Nation Great” which highlights Carson’s stances on hot-topic issues.
“When we instill morals and values into the educational process for young people…we help them realize they have an obligation to become well educated and informed citizens, and to contribute to the system as opposed to draining it of its resources. Public prayer and discussion of common principles that strengthen society’s moral fabric are essential to establishing an atmosphere of courtesy and decency,” said Carson in his book.
Hayden Lee, a junior biomedical sciences major from Dothan, was drawn to the campaign bus after hearing Carson speak in Washington D.C. this past summer and encourages students to be informed voters.
“It is important for everyone to be informed on the candidates for the upcoming election so that he or she will be an educated voter,” Lee said.
“The best way to be educated on the candidates is to do research for yourself. Do not rely on others’ opinions to be your only source of information.”
Jorge Solis, a senior political science major from Pell City also encourages students to research candidates and form their own opinions.
“Watch the political debates, but do not base your decision solely on them,” Solis said. “Diversify your sources of information to overcome potential bias and look at the voting patterns of past candidates who have held political office to verify their accuracy in their stance.
“Meeting with Carson’s campaign team helped me to better understand how his medical experience compliments the role of the presidency more than I would expect. While Ben Carson does not represent all my preferences perfectly, he is a strong and suitable candidate for the glorious and burdensome role of the president of the United States.”
As the election draws closer, Matthews said that students can anticipate future events.
“The College of Republicans will be hosting similar events and expect to have candidates speaking throughout next semester,” Matthews said.