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Guest from the Real World discusses political hot topics

With Nov. 4 less than two months away, American citizens everywhere are glued to the television, newspapers and magazines in search of information on the upcoming election.

However, this past week Millersville students had the chance to turn to an MTV celebrity, and each other, to help form their opinions. On Friday Sept. 12, the All Greek Council sponsored “Decision ’08,” an open forum discussion hosted by Jose Tapia from the MTV show Real World: Key West. Tapia was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He attended Florida State University and holds a real estate broker license.

Since being on the Real World, he has traveled and made appearances at numerous nightclubs and events. Currently, he is on tour, doing “Decision ‘08” at colleges all over the country. During the hour, both Tapia and audience members discussed hot-button issues such as abortion, the war in Iraq, and Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.

Throughout the discussion, Tapia posed questions and students voiced their opinions and backed them with personal anecdotes. Included in the audience members who spoke were two Iraq War veterans, who gave their first-hand views about the situation in Iraq.

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Also discussed were the candidates, and their vice presidential candidates. Each candidate’s views were worked into the dialogue, creating an unbiased environment.

Tapia made it clear that everyone who is able to, should vote. He believes it is critical for 18-to-25 years old to get out and vote in this election.“Our generation is huge,” he said. “We need to be heard.” Tapia is using his celebrity status to get the word out.

He said, “I would like to use my MTV status, for a lack of better words, to do something positive and make a difference.”

Jose Tapia from MTV Real World Key West spoke to students on Sept. 12 about hot political topics and the upcoming presidential election. Photo by Carla Anderson.
Jose Tapia from MTV Real World Key West spoke to students on Sept. 12 about hot political topics and the upcoming presidential election. Photo by Carla Anderson.

Sophomore Kellie Coupal said that citizens need to vote and “Use what has been given to them constitutionally.”

Tapia believes that there are many ways to affect the election other than just voting.
“Encourage people! Tell your parents, ‘you know, Mom and Dad, this is what John McCain thinks about Iraq, this is what Obama thinks about gas [prices].’ Make sure they’re registered to vote, that they’re ready for Nov. 4,” said Tapia.

Members of the All Greek Council, who sponsored both this event and Rock the Vote stood inside the SMC all week and wanted to spread another message by bringing “Decision ‘08” to campus.

“It’s basically a stereotype of Greek life that all we care about is partying, and we wanted to put money towards something that shows we actually care about what’s going on,” said female President Brittany Fricke. Vice President Chris Torres agreed.

“We want to show the campus and the administration that we care about the community,” he said. But in the end, everyone wanted one thing.

“We just want more people involved in voting,” said Joey Kindon. “That’s why we held this event and had the Rock the Vote stand out all week.” And most students were enthusiastic, not only about this years election and voting, but politics in general.