More than 100 students switched their Friday night plans on February 27th to spend it with United States Senator Cory Booker. The New Jersey senator came to campus to meet with students, hear their ideas and engage in a lively discussion about issues that were particularly relevant and interesting to them.
“I thought the event was awesome,” said junior Justice Studies major Juan Santana. “He didn’t seem like a senator. He was so down to earth – just a normal person.”
The event began with President Susan A. Cole welcoming the senator to Montclair State. A Town Hall style meeting immediately followed where Senator Booker spoke for a few minutes about topics such as college affordability and student debt facing today’s students and the younger generation. For the remainder of the evening, Senator Booker answered questions from the students.
“Students were thoroughly engaged throughout the evening and I believe so was Senator Booker,” says Fatima deCarvahlo, assistant dean for Student Life and director of the University’s Center for Student Involvement. “It was exciting to see such a diverse set of students at a non-social event on a Friday night
The free event, which began at 8:00 p.m., was scheduled to end at 9:00, but lively discussion continued until close to 10:00 p.m.. After the event, there was free pizza for the students.
“It is programs such as this that help make students better informed citizens by enlightening and educating them in the political process,” says deCarvahlo.