Anna Cox, contributor
Dr. Jill Biden, Doug Emhoff, and Gwen Walz came to Augsburg to speak about the importance of voting in the upcoming election, and how individually we can make a difference.
The event was held in the Quad on Thursday, Oct. 15, where 25 seats were reserved for students. Despite the low number of seats available and the cold, windy weather, there were students flooding the nearby buildings to hear Biden speak. Before Biden came on stage, an alumni spoke about his own experience on campus. Walz, the first lady of Minnesota, followed his speech. Walz’s mother is an Augsburg grad. Walz spoke about how Augsburg and the work the university does is so important. She also talked about the importance of voting as a way to introduce Biden onto the stage, showing strong support and energy for the democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign.
“I have known the Bidens for quite some time,” Walz said, “and I’m going to tell you, everyone I know is ready to work for and with Jill and Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Mr. Emhoff. Every single person. Because they have built relationships, they have valued place, they have worked for justice, they show up and they give every single thing they can. So now, right now, right here, in our square, in this place, and in this time, the next first lady of the United States: Dr. Jill Biden!”
Although Biden’s speech was only around fifteen minutes, the passion in her voice was palpable. She spoke about the importance of voting and what Joe Biden would give to the American people if he won. She talked about her family and how grief and tragedy had impacted them. When Beau Biden died, she talked about how her husband kept pushing for the betterment of the nation when he was vice president. As an educator herself, Biden spoke about her passion for affordable education for all and her work as a teacher.
Most importantly, she spoke about voting. She declared that this election is too important for Americans to sit out.
“So this is it. There are no do overs,” said Biden. “We have to believe our communities are stronger than the challenges we face, because they are. We have to believe that our vote matters, because it does. We have to show up right now, put our shoulders back, and we have to work like we never worked before.”
After her speech, the crowd of students dispersed quickly back to the normal rhythm of campus – but there was a new energy in the air, as students excitedly conversed about what they had just heard. Paul Pribbenow has declared this Nov. 3, Election Day, a campus holiday. Classes and on campus work will not be in session to allow students, faculty and staff to go out and vote.