Obama's speech receives positive reception during events in the student union

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) – President Barack Obama’s arrival to campus was the talk of the town for the last week, but not everyone was lucky enough to receive a ticket to the big event.
For those who still wanted to be part of the historic day, there was a live feed offered inside two rooms in the Elliott Union. Three large projectors were set up, streaming both Fox News and CNN for guests to watch while they waited for the speech to get started.
Cheers rang out through the Union Ballroom as the president promised to improve the education system in a variety of ways, all of which seemed well-received by the audience.
Dwayne Williams, the president and CEO of Twelfth Street Heritage Development Corporation in Kansas City, said he thought the speech was good for young people and middle class Americans.
“It’s good to see that the president has a plan,” Williams said. “The speech was right on target, talking about keeping education costs down.”
Cheryl Hill, of Clinton, said it was a great speech and that she agreed with the message.
“Wonderful speech,” she said.
Peggy Lumberg said she was glad that Obama was going directly to the schools to initiate change instead of waiting around for Congress to make decisions.
Once the speech was over, those in attendance were invited to a community event in the Union to celebrate, which included free food.
Eugene C. Stillman, assistant director of multicultural affairs, said the president coming to speak is great for the university, the students and the community.
“In small town America, this is not really something we get to see very often and it will be great for everyone involved to be a part of this historical event,” he said.
Stillman also mentioned what a positive experience it was for Missouri Innovation Campus students and IMPACT students to share the stage with the president. The IMPACT program helps guide students on how to develop their leadership skills and connects them with resources on campus.
“What a great way for these students to start off their college careers,” he said.
Ed Wirthwein, Union assistant director, was excited about the visit.
“The best part about this whole thing has been watching everyone work together for a common goal,” he said. “Having the president on campus recognizing what we’ve done is a really exciting thing.”
Bob Collins, assistant manager for the Elliott Union set-up and custodial services, described how much effort and time was involved in preparing to host 2,000 guests. From preparing a meal of hotdogs, hamburgers and bratwursts to cleaning up, the total planning and preparation time took eight to nine hours.
“The staff has been phenomenal,” Collins said. “I really want to stress that. I have full confidence in the staff.”