Days before an election for governor in which candidates had spent more than $100 million on TV commercials, students on the campus of the University of Central Florida in Orlando couldn’t identify either candidate when shown photos. UCF is one of the nation’s largest government universities with an enrollment just south of 60,000.
The video was filmed by an outfit called Knight News. One student told Knight’s Danielle Apolinar when shown a picture of Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott, “I’ve seen him in a commercial, I just can’t remember his name.” Another student, shown the same picture, identified Scott as Mitt Romney. They didn’t know who Democrat Charlie Crist was either.
In the days before the election, Crist held a rally at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, another mega government school with more than 30,000 enrollees. Students there told the campus newspaper that they showed up for the free pizza and were more than a bit vague on the politics. “I just saw pizza and wanted to see what’s up,” said honest freshman John Stansell. (For college students, pizza is three of the four basic food groups — the fourth is beer.)
Joseph Stubbs, president of the FAU campus chapter of the NAACP, said the rally was important to “educate the people on voting.” Stubbs could use a little political education himself, as he was unaware that Crist had been governor of Florida. “I don’t think Crist is the former governor, he’s only running for governor,” Stubbs told a “University Press” reporter.
Charlie Crist was a Republican and Florida’s governor from January of 2007 to January of 2011.
Higher education? Higher than what?
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