Kasich brings campaign for GOP nomination to campus
Several hundred students, faculty, staff, and members of the public packed the Koffler Rotunda on April 23 to hear John Kasich, the Ohio governor who seeks the 2016 Republican nomination for President of the United States, speak during a town hall-style event in advance of Rhode Island's primary April 26.
"This is a special day here at Bryant," President Ronald K. Machtley told the crowd. "It’s not often that our students have an opportunity to be a direct part of the political process in our great country."
Kasich and Machtley served together in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1989 through 1995. There, they bonded over their mutual upbringing in western Pennsylvania and through their service as members of the Committee on Armed Services during the Desert Storm era.
“I’ve known Ron for a very long time and I’m told that he has turned Bryant into an incredible school,” Kasich said. “He’s a man of great integrity and was a great contributor to the Congress. The Bryant community has been lucky to have Ron. He and his wife, Kati, are just great people.”
Machtley introduced Kasich as a candidate “who understands the privilege, the prestige, and the purpose, not only of the presidency, but of the process to get there.”
Kasich, who is behind in delegates for the Republican nomination, said he was counting on a contested convention where no candidate has enough delegates to win the nomination. “They’re going to look at two things,” Kasich said: “Who has the best chance to win in the fall, and who is the best president.”
Kasich’s appearance was one of several programs and learning opportunities this semester that have deepened community engagement in the process of selecting a president:
- A high-profile panel of political experts and media personalities fielded broad questions in a lively campus discussion focused on the question “Will American democracy survive the 2016 election?”
- In the keynote speech at Bryant’s Research and Engagement Day, award-winning journalist Hedrick Smith explored the impact of politics and economics on America;
- Associate Professor of Political Science Rich Holtzman, Ph.D., led a discussion titled “Road to Election,” followed by a viewing party as Super Tuesday results rolled in;
- Associate Professor of English and Cultural Studies Amber Day, Ph.D., pulled back the curtain on media coverage during a student and faculty roundtable on the political conversation;
- In January, more than 20 Bryant students joined Associate Professor of History and Social Sciences Nicole Freiner, Ph.D., for a trip to meet some of the biggest names in politics at the New Hampshire Primary Student Convention.
In 2008, Bryant hosted separate visits by former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.