Columbia students gather for star-studded service forum

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NEW YORK As I noted earlier, Columbia is in lock-down for the Service Nation forum between presidential hopefuls Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain.

 

Some people rushing to class were yelling at police officers who were bunkering off the city blocks between 117th and 112th.

 

The students who didn’t win the lottery to attend the forum are gathered in the quad area in front of the library, watching it on a Jumbotron.

 

 

As the program opened, Usher was announced as one of the youth advocates for Service Nation, standing alongside Caroline Kennedy and some others.

 

Actor Tobey Maguire lauded community service and talked about how he was moved following the 9/11 attacks.

 

“While I may play a superhero on the big screen, we all know who our real American heroes are,” he said.

 

The Spiderman star said he knew the next president of the United States would be speaking, adding: “Of course, we’re not sure which one of them it is just yet.”

 

He said his one prediction was that there will be record turnout on Nov. 4 because, “there is genuine excitement about this election.”

 

But after the election, “We can’t go back to cruise control,” he warned.

 

“It’s about serving a cause that is bigger than you, bigger than this election,” he said.

 

 

Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times

 

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