About 75 students and community members lined up in front of Jepson Hall at 5:45 a.m. on Sunday to demonstrate their political views on “The Today Show.”
Planned Parenthood and the RVA Beard League were the first groups to arrive, political signs in tow.
Signs for Planned Parenthood read, “Protect Women’s Health,” and members of the organization wore pink shirts that matched the signs. A Planned Parenthood employee said the organization was encouraging women to vote for Obama in the coming election based on the principle that Mitt Romney would cut healthcare benefits for women.
A Planned Parenthood advocate, identified only as Kristen, said: “Women’s health is an economic issue. Without government funding for women’s healthcare, birth control alone could cost women up to $700 a year, making it harder for families to put food on the table.”
Steering away from politics, the RVA Beard League came sporting long, styled beards, signs and sweatshirts that read “Keep Richmond fuzzy.”
According to its website, the RVA Beard League “encourages the tradition of, promotes the appreciation of, and works to increase respect for facial hair in all its forms through community volunteer work, charity fundraising and camaraderie.”
The Richmond track team got the most airtime of any group. The team arrived at 7 a.m. carrying signs that said “Save Richmond Track” and “Mitt Romney would not have cut track. He has my vote. #SaveRichmondTrackAndSoccer.”
Not all students came to the broadcast with specific messages. Junior Joseph MacEwan held up a sign for his girlfriend reading, “I love Ellen.” As an homage to his mother, senior Peter Valavanis had a sign that read, “Margaret Valavanis is a saint.”
The cheerleading team and WebstUR were also featured during the broadcast.
Contact reporter Melissa Diamond at firstname.lastname@example.org