Friday, September 24, 2004

Green Bay : Can Moore Get Fence-Sitters to Vote?

Across the country, the push is on to get voters registered for November's election. Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore is bringing his campaign against President George W. Bush to help do that. How did U.W.-Green Bay make the cut?

Moore, who took political center stage with his film "Fahrenheit 9/11," has two shows scheduled at the Weidner Center on the UWGB campus on October 23rd (see related story ). The tour is his attempt to get traditional non-voters fired up to go to the polls, especially in swing states.

The school's position is, if Moore's visit gets students talking and involved in the election process, it's a good thing.

Moore's message isn't lauded and applauded in every venue he visits, but his take on politics may give students here a reason to think about a subject they normally don't lose sleep over.

"We're a very non-political campus as far as our students go," program coordinator Grant Winslow said. "They're not activists in any way, shape, or form."

"I think they feel kind of disconnected from it -- that they can't make a difference -- and clearly from the last presidential election it was a fairly small margin of people who made the difference," Lisa Tetzloff, student life director, said.

Moore's Weidner Center visit will send students in a new direction, planners hope. One where they'll take a stand for any candidate, even if it's not the one Moore prefers.

"We're trying to get students to feel like, whatever side they're on or whatever, that their vote matters, that their opinion matters," Tetzloff said.

"That's a lot of what Michael Moore's message is: 'You might hate me, you might not agree with one thing I've said up here, then go do something about it, go do something about it, go vote!'" Winslow said.

That's something many of the students will be doing in November for the first time.

Event organizers say they are looking to see if someone who compares to Michael Moore from the other side of the political aisle can also make a campus appearance before the election.

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