Carmela Sleva feels ‘the Bern’ at the Bernie Sanders rally


Supporters along with the politically inclined listen intently to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as he addresses the crowd gathered for his rally. (Photo courtesy of Carmela Sleva)

Senior Carmela Sleva attended democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sander’s rally in Warren, MI, on March 5.

“Politics are something that genuinely interest me and I love getting involved in campaigns and having the opportunity to see politicians speak,” said Sleva. “I would even go see a politician that I don’t necessarily agree with just for the opportunity.”

Attending the rally was free, but for Sleva, the experience was a priceless one. Sleva served as a volunteer at the rally, helping people with disabilities to their seats before and during the event.

According to Sleva, the large event was electrifying. The crowd’s energy was contagious. Although the crowd was mostly younger and white, Sleva felt as if there was still quite a bit of racial diversity, and a good mix of men and women.

Before Sanders came out, a former NAACP leader addressed the crowd and gave a speech. When Sanders finally came on stage at 7 p.m., the crowd that had begun gathering around 4:30 p.m. went ecstatic. Everyone jumped to their feet and began cheering. Sleva, like other Sanders supporters in the crowd, found the moment very moving and exciting.

“He’s very down to earth and real,” said Sleva. “Mostly everything he said I have heard him say throughout his campaign, but he spoke very passionately about closing the wage gap and about racial injustice which was awesome. He also talked more about trade agreements like NAFTA at this rally than I’ve heard him discuss in the past, so that was interesting.”

With the primaries going on in full swing, many Mercy girls are able to vote for the first time. There are other ways for those too young to vote to get involved in the process as well. Volunteering for a political campaign, attending rallies, and staying informed on current politics are some ways to get involved, and stay educated on the world.

“I think it’s cool to experience rallies, but it’s not for everyone,” said Sleva. “I cannot stress enough how important it is to follow politics and be informed on different policies. Even if you can’t vote, these are the types of things that affect each and every one of us directly on a day-to-day basis, and it’s important to stay informed on how they affect us. And in the end, it’ll help you develop your political beliefs so you can make an informed decision when you go to vote. Because that is ultimately the goal. You have no real control over your life as a citizen in a country if you do not go out and vote.”