Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, urged students at University of Wisconsin-Waukesha to sign the recall petition against Gov. Scott Walker during a rally Tuesday afternoon.
A campus official warned students eating lunch in the HUB to be respectful to Larson, even if they didn’t agree with his message. The rally was peaceful and Larson's talk was uninterrupted.
Larson talked about Walker’s first few months in office when protests were the norm in Madison after Walker’s budget repair bill was first introduced. Walker didn’t listen to the workers in Wisconsin, Larson told the students at the two-year college.
“Instead, we got somebody who decided to, instead of working together, try and take our state as far to the right as it could go,” Larson said. “Instead of working together, bringing people together in a time of economic crisis, he decided to use this opportunity for his audition to get his own Fox News show. I can't see how this is supposed to help our state, how hurting you, how hurting our students, is supposed to help in the long-term economy of Wisconsin. “
Larson was brought to the campus by the College Democrats, who have been passing out the Walker recall petitions to “hold him accountable for his attacks on students,” a news release from the College Democrats states.
It wasn’t his first time speaking out against Walker and his controversial legislation at the school. The Democratic senator fled the state with 13 other senators in an attempt to stop a vote on the bill in February and shared those experiences with the school after returning to Wisconsin.
Larson spoke about funding cuts to the UW System and future student loans as a way to encourage students to sign the recall petition.
“It is nothing less than the future of our state. It is nothing less than our culture and who we are as a people,” Larson said. “I encourage you to grab a petition, talk to your friends and family and get involved in this movement and come out on the right side of history.”
Meanwhile, down the hallway, a quiet group of freshmen in the College Republicans were selling baked goods to raise money to send care packages to members of the military. They also had signs supporting the governor and wore T-shirts stating they supported him.
“Our main focus is the care packages for the troops,” said Gracie Marchese, who is the president of the College Republicans.
Most of the students who passed the table didn’t seem to mind the group being there selling baked goods, according to David Mottl. The group was passing out fliers asking students to not sign the petition, citing the millions a state-wide recall will cost and statistics about the savings some communities and school districts have had as a result of the governor’s controversial legislation that limited most public employees from collective bargaining.
“Think about what you can save by not signing the recall petition,” the flier stated.
“There are some dirty looks, but it is not that bad,” said Rebecca Hamrick. “We are used to it.”