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C-Span’s mobile multimedia center stops at UMW in Fredericksburg
BY LINDLEY ESTES
C–SPAN’s campaign 2012 bus stopped at the University of Mary Washington’s Fredericksburg campus Thursday to ask people what they think about the upcoming election and showcase its informational offerings.
“The campaign 2012 bus is a multimedia center. It promotes our campaign resources,” said Jennifer Curran, a marketing representative for the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network.
C–SPAN’s election resources include a website, iPhone app, XM radio station, social media sites, video library and trivia quizzes. The private, nonprofit company has broadened its outreach since it was established in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service.
Before stopping at UMW, the bus visited Hollins University and Western Virginia Community College in Roanoke, and Norfolk State University and Christopher Newport University in Norfolk. The next stops are George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College.
Jessica Carver, public affairs specialist for Cox Communications, which partnered with C–SPAN to create the bus tour, said they chose UMW as a stop because of its size and location.
“We wanted to reach out to students in a smaller area who are politically motivated but may miss out because they’re in a smaller area,” she said.
She hopes the bus helps college students understand the role various types of media play in elections.
Jeremy Art, digital and social media specialist for C–SPAN took 15-second videos of students to include on Tout.
Tout.com is a social media site that allows users to upload and share 15-second videos that C–SPAN started using in the spring.
“It’s still new,” said Art. “But it’s easy to use and there are younger people on itIt’s a great way to showcase C–SPAN as not just for older people.”
Student Kaitlin Gates, 18, toured the bus and said the multimedia features were “pretty neat.”
She was walking to a political science class when she saw the bus and stopped to check it out.
“I’m from Fredericksburg, so I never think about things like this coming here,” she said. “We’re not one of the larger schools.”
Gates’ friend and fellow student Emily Lamb, 18, also toured the bus.
She said that during an internship as a Senate page last summer, her mother saw her on C–SPAN a lot.
“It’s cool to see this,” she said.
Samantha Litchford, a 19-year-old UMW student, said that the interactive features on the bus were interesting and that she scored very well on the election trivia quiz.
“I’m an international affairs major,” she said. “This is awesome, especially because there are so many international affairs and political science majors here. It brings Washington a little closer.”
Maxwell Reinhardt, 20, a sophomore at UMW and secretary of the college Republicans, said the bus was “a bit like a Starbucks on wheels. Everyone has their iPhones out.”
He said that as a Republican, the campaign hasn’t generated the excitement he would like. Still, he’s happy that UMW is getting more recognition with events like the bus tour and the recent visit from first lady Michelle Obama.
Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976