Election Year Assembly: Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks at CIU

February 19, 2016

By Melissa McCutchan

CIU Student Writer

There’s little doubt about it: former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal believes in the American dream.  It’s that belief that led him to endorse Florida Senator Marco Rubio in the 2016 presidential election, and that brought him to speak in an assembly at Columbia International University two days before the South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary.

Jindal spoke about his family’s faith in the American dream, beginning with his parents’ immigrating to America from India.  He told about how his parents’ desire to work hard made them successful in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“They came halfway across the world,” Jindal said of his parents.  “They weren’t coming to a place, they were coming to an idea.  They were coming to the idea of freedom and opportunity.”

Jindal encouraged the CIU community to research the candidates and to vote in South Carolina’s presidential primaries.

“Your voice is an important one and it needs to be heard,” he said. 

In addition to a political message, Jindal also addressed the need for spiritual revival in the United States, and took time to answer questions from his audience, which ranged from immigration reform to the federal debt.

While some CIU students didn’t fully agree with Jindal’s political opinions, many appreciated that CIU brought in a speaker in order to inform students about political issues.  Former Texas governor Rick Perry also visited CIU in April 2015.

Graduate student David Craft says that even though some students are uncomfortable with the introduction of politically-oriented assemblies, “It has at the very least initiated a plethora of conversation.”

Either way, this ultimately serves as an opportunity for us to sharpen one another and pour back into our nation,” Craft added.

 The message sparked many political conversations among students, and helped students become more attuned to the current political climate.

 “I think CIU’s intentions with bringing in political speakers are to educate the student body on political issues and concerns,” junior Nathan Kyles said.  “With elections approaching rapidly, I feel the student body can benefit a great deal from the information that is given through speakers like Gov. Jindal. Whether students agree with the positions presented or not, there is value in understanding others’ views.”