Ben Wallis

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Ben Wallis

Ben Wallis


In 2016 Ben Wallis was a member of Truman State University SDS.[1]

Students for Bernie Concert

Nearly 3,500 people came to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Students for Bernie Concert and rally at the University of Iowa’s Iowa Field House in Iowa City, Iowa, January 2016. Out of those 3,500 people, a handful traveled about three hours from Truman State to be part of the event.


The rally drew a large crowd, in part from the opening performances from Foster the People and Vampire Weekend, and appearances by actor Josh Hutcherson and author and activist Cornel West. The concert was free, and attracted music-lovers and political fanatics alike.

“This is an event that won’t be repeated,” Truman State sophomore Ben Wallis says. “It’s an event you wouldn’t want to miss out on because its pretty unparalleled.”

Wallis is a member of the campus organization Truman State SDS. Many of the Truman students at the rally were members of SDS with an interest in the politics of the event.

Unlike other groups created to support a certain candidate or party, SDS explores all aspects of the political process through open debate, discussion and participation, sophomore SDS member Will Chaney says.

“We tend to not have one or two leaders or even an exec board,” Chaney says. “In general, the organization is pretty horizontal.”

Chaney says though some of the SDS members are Sanders supporters, others are undecided or choose focus on issues rather than candidates.

“[SDS is a] multi-tendency organization,” Chaney says. “A lot of members in SDS are interested in socialist, communist, leftist ideas.”[2]