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Democratic presidential race dividing Mills campus

When Chelsea Clinton paid a visit to Mills College on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 2, the press labeled the members of the Mills community in attendance as a largely pro-Hillary Clinton crowd, thereby alluding to the political preference of the entire campus.

True, President Janet Holmgren has shown her support to the Senator from New York, personally aiding her campaign. A similar undercurrent of support seems to run among faculty and other administration officials. This is all despite the administration’s statements that Mills is a “non-partisan” institution.

And yet, among the student body, supporters of Barack Obama have largely been more vocal. Obama supporters have been active in student news posts advertising their club, “Mills Students for Barack Obama.” They have also created two Facebook groups, which boast 52 and 29 members. Facebook’s “Mills Students for Hillary” contains 20 members.

The younger Clinton’s visit seemed, to The Campanil staff, the first time students in support of Hillary came out in full force and made their presence known on campus.
Mills, of course, is an all-women’s college known for its feminist ideals. It is comprised of a predominately liberal, Demo-cratic student body, staff and faculty. It is also very diverse in its range of ethnic background, age, and socio-economic status. All of which make the current divisions particularly intense.
There is not just a generational divide between the young and the old-which would be no surprise given Obama’s stronghold on the youth vote-but a divide among the young themselves. And it goes deeper.

The two Democratic presidential candidates are forcing all of us to ask ourselves if we should vote based on our gender or the color of our skin. Furthermore, should we base our vote on the personalities of the candidates, or what they actually stand for?

As strong women, is it our duty to stand up for Clinton, regardless of who we support, while the mainstream press discuss her hair, her voice, her emotions?

The answer is that we shouldn’t have to wrestle with such questions. We hope the Mills community votes with their ideals, based on the politics of both candidates, and not the politics of personality.

We hope our community stays united, remembering that we all face similar challenges. Our differences in political persuasion need not divide us.

We at The Campanil cannot predict who will win the democratic nomination in August. But what is certain is that this historical primary season-in which the two top Democratic nominees have both fought for suffrage and political representation-has affected our diverse community in a profound way.