Thousands of students crossed their fingers in hopes of being selected to attend President Obama's visit to campus last Thursday, Sept. 20. Junior Emily Young, however, did not need such luck as she was chosen to conduct a one-on-one interview with Mr. President himself. We talked with Emily about how it all happened and what went down.
HC: First off, where are you from and what's your major?
Emily: I'm from Fleming Island (near Jacksonville), FL and I'm a junior studying Public Relations and Political Science.
HC: What is your involvement on campus, and how did you get to interview President Obama?
Emily: I am involved with Zeta Tau Alpha--where I'm on the Exec Board--President's 100, Ibis Yearbook Section Editor, Fitness Supervisor at the Wellness Center, and Wesley Campus Ministry. I was selected to meet the President through my involvement with Canes for Obama, where I am the campus team leader through Organizing for America. I went through a screening process that involved two phone calls.
HC: How did you prepare for the interview?
Emily: I really didn't do anything to prepare except when shopping for a new dress. I thought about going over the issues, but I felt confident in my knowledge. I tried to get a lot of sleep the night before but that was pretty impossible.
HC: How were your nerves going into it?
Emily: My nerves were fine until minutes before he was supposed to come in the restaurant, when the security team was doing all the last minute preparations and I could see crowds of people outside start to pay attention. Then out of nowhere his motorcade came through and before I could blink he was already inside. Once he was there I was much calmer though.
HC: What decided the location, OMG Burger?
Emily: We had no say about the location. A special team from the White House chose the location based on their security needs and it's proximity to UM since it was right after his event at UM. But I was happy with the location because it was very relaxed.
HC: Lastly, anything cool you learned about Mr. President?
Emily: Talking to him was like talking to an uncle or family. He was easy to talk to, very relatable and was interested in what we had to say. He was a normal guy, just like he looks on TV.
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)