Barbara Boxer was welcomed by the University of Redlands with a standing ovation from students, faculty, and community members. Boxer acknowledged the audience and complimented the University by calling Redlands a “Hidden Oasis.” Boxer gave a 30 minute motivational speech, followed by a 30 minute question and answer session from both community members and students.
Boxer, who represented California in Congress for 33 years, praised our State for being progressive, passionate and beautiful. She celebrated that California had a 76 percent voter turnout during the general election. While acknowledging low voter turnout in other states, Boxer encouraged the audience to exercise their right to vote. She called the right to vote a “true American value” that many soldiers and civil rights activist groups have fought to preserve.
Boxer advocated for the audience to look past their political party to protect American values such as freedom of speech, press, assembly and promote equality for everyone. In order to unite members of all political backgrounds, Barbara recited the Constitution’s preamble to demonstrated that Americans can still achieve our national goal of creating a more perfect union.
Barbara argued that students are the future of our Republic and that the first way to lose a Republic is not to vote. Boxer’s central message for the Redlands community was to be “strong but not offensive.” She asked students to be tough and fight for their beliefs regardless of their political affiliation; to pick a cause and pursue it with a passion.
“Take the main issue that drives your heart and go with it…Don’t be something do something,” Boxer said.
Senator Boxer leads by example as she has fought against AIDS, the War in Iraq, climate change and for Gay Marriage and equal pay for women.
Alyssa Lewis, a freshman Public Policy major, was thrilled to have Boxer speak on campus. Ever since she was a young girl, Alyssa admired Boxer’s “wittiness, humor and authenticity.” At the end of Boxer’s speech Lewis stated, “Tonight, Senator Boxer spoke from the heart and inspired me to persevere when the going gets tough.”
Barbara Boxer was the last speaker in the ASUR convocations and lectures Spring Political Series.
“This is one country and we have to work together…Students I know you have so many things on your mind and courses to pass but don’t forget your obligation to care and we’ll never be a more perfect union”
photos contributed by Redlands Bulldog photographer, Halie West