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Students react to Chasten Buttigieg visiting IU



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Chasten Buttigieg, husband of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, shakes hands with attendees Dec. 6 in Woodburn Hall. Chasten Buttigieg came to talk to students and members of the public. Anna Brown

Chasten Buttigieg visited IU to speak with students about his husband, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and his presidential campaign Friday.

College Democrats at IU presented “A Chat with Chasten Buttigieg” during the day in Woodburn Hall.

More than 100 people attended the event, including IU students and adults. Among those attendees was Robert Fuhs, a volunteer for Pete Buttigieg’s campaign.

Fuhs started volunteering in July. He came to IU from Indianapolis to help spread awareness for the campaign.

“We want to get the students here at IU fired up,” Fuhs said.

As students waited in line to get into the event, Fuhs asked them if they had registered to vote and if they voted for Pete to appear on the ballot.

“We have two billionaires running for President now as democrats, so the campaign is going to need all of the money it can get,” he said.

IU freshman Naomi Yankellow said she decided to come to the event because she wanted to learn more about Pete from his husband’s perspective.

“I’m really interested in Pete,” Yankellow said. “As Chasten said, ‘I’m Pete-curious.’”

She said she enjoyed Chasten’s focus on education. He touched on belonging, but Yankellow said she would’ve liked to hear him talk more about racial belonging.

“I wish that he talked a bit more about people of color,” Yankellow said. “I know with Pete specifically that’s a topic that’s been brought up a lot and how he’s handling that.”

Yankellow said she appreciated that Chasten talked personally about his life and his marriage because it helped her see them as people. She said she was struck by how much both Chasten and Pete care about this campaign.

“I thought the focus on just winning the presidency and not necessarily focusing on winning the daily argument,” Yankellow said. “I think that was really great because winning the presidency is the ultimate goal.”

IU freshman Jared Adler also said he was curious about Pete because he wanted to explore all the democratic candidates.

Adler said he liked that Chasten talked about inclusion of the LGBTQ community.

“These are issues that we’ve had for so long, but no one’s really tackled them,” Adler said. “The fact that they’re talking about those small issues that Americans deal with every single day as their first priority hit home to me.”

Adler said the event with Chasten provided a different view of candidates that isn’t always presented.

Yankellow said Pete has been one of her top candidates for a while now, but she is still going to look into both his policies and those of other candidates.

“This didn’t convince me to vote for Pete,” Yankellow said. “But I don’t think these things do. It’s kind of just to help you understand who Pete is.”

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