HYVEE AND BROWNELLS – Facing crowds as large as twenty people, Senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio visited Grinnell last Tuesday as part of a trip through Iowa. He stopped at HyVee and Brownells during his visit.
While many at the college had planned on going to the event, due to a scheduling miscommunication no students attended.
According to student Shiri Walker ‘19, “On Facebook it said Rubio was visiting on the 25th. I was excited to go and I invited all of my friends to the event. I really got into it, I posted something on my Timeline and everything, the whole nine yards. I was shocked and disappointed when I heard that he had actually visited on the 24th. And it was in the campus calendar and the memo wrong too.”
A few students realized the mistake by reading official publicity about the event. Jerry Chua ‘18 gathered a group of students to attend, but was unable to find either HyVee or Brownells.
Said Chua, “We drove around for at least half an hour but my phone had died and no one else had a smartphone, so we had absolutely no way of using a map. None of us ever even realized that Grinnell had other grocery stores besides McNally’s or Walmart, or even that the town extended past Walmart at all.”
The Rubio campaign was originally planning on visiting the College to avoid a similar mishap and be able to tap into the strong base of support among students.
Said Grinnellians for Rubio leader Jacob Brown ‘17, “We were planning on bringing Senator Rubio to the College to have a ‘Waffles and Rubio’ study break. Unfortunately, due to the prevalence of other study breaks, the only available location was the second floor Noyce elbow.”
Continued Brown, “Still, we were planning on driving people out to see him. Unfortunately, when the campaign contacted us on the 24th, I had come down with a sudden case of mono and wasn’t able to respond to emails. They also tried to contact the Grinnell Pubs [Grinnell Republic Student Organization], but their president’s roommate turned off their alarm by acciednt and so they ended up sleeping through most of the day.”
Grinnell Pubs president Riya Jan ’16 said, “I know that I feel incredibly ashamed and saddened about this whole incident. I know that I have disappointed the dozens of students who attend our meetings and the many students who are part of Grinnellians for Rubio.”
“Hopefully, the strong Republican presence on campus will convince other candidates to come to Grinnell, despite this incident”, said Jan.
One consequence of the unintended slight is a rejection of the Self-Gov platform by the Rubio campaign.
Said campaign organizer Eric Wek, “The Senator was really looking forward to having Grinnell students at event and we were all incredibly disappointed when none arrived. Previously, Senator Rubio had expressed interest in Self-Gov as a bipartisan concept that could really elevate the campaign to the next level. But if this kind of miscommunication and scheduling shenanigan is the result of Self-Gov, then unfortunately Senator Rubio cannot bring it anywhere.”