Clad in bright pink T-shirts, more than 60 UCF students and community members gathered for “Pink Out the Vote” in the Student Union Friday afternoon.
The one-hour event, hosted by Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, Inc., welcomed Congressional Candidate Stephanie Murphy and former Texas Senator Wendy Davis. The women discussed the current political situation and expressed their support for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Davis is known for filibustering on the floor of the Texas Senate for 11 hours in 2013 to prevent the passage of a bill restricting the rights of abortion clinics. Murphy is the democratic candidate running to represent Florida’s Seventh Congressional District, which includes the UCF area.
Murphy said she chose to run for office because of her frustration with the “do-nothing” congress.
“If we want to change Washington, we have to change the type of people that we send there,” Murphy said.
Davis echoed her sentiment within seconds of taking the microphone.
“We are all about to make the most important decision imaginable,” Davis said. “Truly, this election is going to define our identity as a country.”
Davis, framed by a back wall peppered with “I’m with Her” signs, praised Hillary Clinton’s “spirit, tenacity and values.” The former senator said her hope for the next generation of children is that they will get to see the first ever female U.S. president.
She also promoted universal childcare and unhindered access to women’s healthcare facilities.
“My story would not be my story if I could not rely on the Planned Parenthood clinic where I lived in Fort Worth, Texas,” Davis said. “They provided me with the only healthcare that I had, they provided me with contraceptive care. Most importantly, the kind counseling of the people who provided my healthcare there, who helped me plan whether I would have another child.”
Murphy then joined Davis and began to take questions on topics such as the likelihood of universal childcare and whether Syrian refugees should immigrate to the United States.
“Nobody is a refugee by choice,” said Murphy, a staunch supporter of immigration.
UCF senior Tayler Gautier asked the two politicians about the college trend of voting for third-party candidates.
“What do you have to say to young people feeling betrayed by the Democratic party?” Gautier said. “And why should they vote for Hillary Clinton?”
A woman named Deborah Garner stood up from the audience and answered Gautier’s question in tears.
“You’ve heard the stories of the women from my generation,” Garner said. “We have broken barriers. We are here for you. We believe in you to make the right choice.”
Gautier later said that she asked the question because she wanted to emphasize how important it is for millennials to vote.
The event wrapped up with members of the UCF College Democrats distributing information on how to encourage peers to vote and Planned Parenthood volunteers handing out pink buttons that read “Don’t f*** with us. Don’t f*** without us.”