C-SPAN bus visits MU as part of its Road to the White House tour

Thursday, October 6, 2011 | 5:21 p.m. CDT; updated 10:00 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 6, 2011
C-SPAN community relations representative Doug Hemmig showcases an iPad app on a SMART Board for MU juniors Jordan Glasgow, left, and Amelia Sorg on the C-SPAN Digital Bus on Thursday afternoon. The iPad app — to be released in 2012 — will feature biographies, video clips and ideological stances of each presidential candidate.

COLUMBIA — Forty-five feet of red, white and blue rolled onto campus Thursday afternoon. The C-SPAN Digital Bus, which tours the country making stops and offering interactive education about government, visited MU as part of its Road to the White House tour.

From 1 to 3:30 p.m. the bus stopped on Eighth Street near campus. A tech lab on wheels, it offered touch screens with political apps, MacBooks, a SMART Board and flatscreen TVs. Visitors took self-guided tours and used technology to learn more about the upcoming campaign.

"The main goal of the Campaign 2012 tour is to let people follow Washington their way by seeing resources they're not familiar with," said Doug Hemmig, a community relations representative for C-SPAN who was traveling with the bus.

The bus, worth more than $1 million, has been touring the country since summer 2010. It usually makes about 10 stops a week.

The bus had a political app that allowed people to browse through the candidates and learn about their political views. Visitors could also access online material including 170,000 hours of C-SPAN programming dating back to 1986 in the video libraries. 

"It's like a comprehensive site for any political junkie," Hemmig said.

He said the bus is a nice way for people to experience C-SPAN in a new way.

"They can come on board, and they realize it's a lot more than just a political news network covering the House and Senate," Hemmig said.

Jordan Glasgow, a junior political science major, took advantage of the information on the bus.

"Being a political science major, I frequently watch C-SPAN, and I was really excited about the opportunity to check it out," Glasgow said.

The bus' next stop is Lawrence, Kan., where high school students will have a chance to Skype with Leo Hindery Jr. from Washington, D.C. Hindery is a member of Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength.

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