Mandela Barnes Meet and Greet at Warner Hall

Barnes speaks on how to improve quality of life through rights and freedoms


Caden Maire photo

The Black Student Union hosted Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, Wisconsin senatorial candidate, on Nov. 2 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in Warner Hall 117. The event was coordinated and led by advisor Carla Wages and the President of BSU, Sydney Byas.  

Ushered in by a round of applause, Mandela Barnes arrived with a handful of campaign staff. His first talking point addressed how to make life better for people. 

Consequently, Barnes spoke of the harmful effects of self-interest on public service and the American Dream. He then briefly described the experiences of his grandfather through his service in World War II, finding a job as a union steelworker and retiring comfortably 35 years later. 

“It is probably more difficult for people my age to get into the middle class than it was for my grandfather after World War II. This is the first generation that is slated to be worse off than my parent’s generation,” Barnes said.

In response, he declared that as a society we should strive towards improving the quality of life, increasing opportunities and fighting for rights and freedoms. Barnes also raised the issue of the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision.  

Mandela then stated his concerns over gun violence and threats to school safety. He described the primary cause of gun violence, “It’s because we have elected officials who are bought and paid for by the gun lobby, and they prioritize the profits of that industry over the lives of our children,” he said.  

When asked why any college student should vote for him, he said, “This was a vote for the future.” He then expressed his support for good paying jobs in Wisconsin and freedom to make medical decisions, along with concerns over the future of our planet and making higher education more affordable and accessible.

Barnes spoke of his concerns over climate change. “This is a personal issue for me. Because I hope to be here for a while, and we will have to deal with the impacts one way or another,” Barnes said.

Lastly, Barnes thanked everyone for attending and the BSU for hosting the event. Barnes took photos with everyone who wished to do so. To participate or find more information about Wisconsin Democrats, visit the web address