Gina gave you the scoop on how having the former president come to campus shook things up, but how about an insider’s look! I was one of those lucky students she mentioned who got to go see Clinton speak (for free, woo woo!).
Besides a bunch of extra security à la the secret service (which made me feel like I was in the White House) having Bill Clinton at UCLA was just extremely cool.
I had seen Clinton speak last year as part of a political rally with Gavin Newsom and our then almost-governor Jerry Brown. Although I like politics, I hadn’t really felt super connected to the whole political scene. Attending the rally and hearing those guys speak about jobs and alternative energy and just politics in general was so ~intriguing~ and got me super excited about the political process (Jerry Brown’s election as a governor was the first election I had ever got to vote in!).
Wednesday’s lecture was exactly the same – except this time, Clinton wasn’t talking to his audience about politics and we weren’t gathered in clumps on the grass. We all watched him give a fab lecture on our common humanity in Royce Auditorium (which is basically the prettiest place on UCLA’s campus). The lecture was as inspiring as the rally. He shared his knowledge with us about how to solve humanitarian crises, what we should be doing to create positive change, and mostly just how to be a better person.
The most special moment of the night was when he told us a story about some pictures he had bought in UCLA’s bookstore (pictures that he had bought 41 years ago with his then girlfriend Hilary!). He said he has them hanging in his house and that he thinks about UCLA everyday when he looks at those pictures (awwwww).
The night was awesome – how often do you get to see Bill Clinton speak for free?! Oh yeah, I guess it’s about once a year here at UCLA. 🙂