Wendy Onofre, a senior political science major at the University of Dayton, addressed the audience at President Barack Obama’s local rally last week after her supervisors selected her based on her experience with the Obama campaign.
The public rally was held in Triangle Park on Oct. 23. The rally was the first joint appearance for Obama and Vice President Joe Biden this
Onofre said her name was submitted along with other campaign volunteers and eventually she was selected.
Onofre said she believed she would only be speaking for a couple hundred people and was shocked to find out she would be speaking to a crowd of 9,500.
“I was nervous, but when I got on stage adrenaline kicked in,”
Onofre was interested in politics long before coming to UD. She believes her involvement in politics began because of the environment of her hometown, Chicago. Onofre believes that just being from Chicago helped guide her towards an interest that influenced her major and other aspects of her life.
Onofre began working for Obama’s campaign when he ran for the Senate in 2004. In 2004, Onofre said she was “more interested in registering voters than walking door-to-door for
In 2008, Onofre became involved in the presidential race by supporting Obama as he pursued, and eventually won the election.
Onofre was also able to meet the president before the event began.
“We were taken to the green room before the event for a photo line-up and then we were able to talk to him for a few minutes,” she said.
This was the first opportunity Onofre was given to meet the president, despite working on his different campaigns over the years.
Obama for America reserved a number of tickets for UD students who wished to attend the rally. She and others set up a table in order to pass the tickets out for free to students interested and shuttles were provided for students attending the event.
Onofre was informed a few days before the rally that she would be speaking but did not know about the large crowd until the night before.
Although she was nervous, she was able to help encourage others to get involved in issues that affect the country during her speech.
In her speech to the crowd, Onofre talked about her experience volunteering for the president’s campaign and urged others to get involved in order to re-elect the president in the
Onofre said she believes that people should become involved in politics because it can affect more aspects of their lives then they realize. She said the best way to get involved is to express your own political opinions.
“Most people might think that politics are boring, confusing or don’t matter, but I have seen it affect people like my family and my neighbors,” Onofre said. “Politics do have an impact.”