Student-run UT Obama HQ Draws Big Names

A new Barack Obama campaign office opened Monday on the University of Texas campus in Austin, organized by the past five presidents of the school's University Democrats. Click here to check out photos of the grand opening, complete with a BBQ lunch.

UT student volunteers were easy to reach through an impressive, 925-member group they've organized on the networking site Facebook called "UT Students for Obama!"

"We have done some amazing things at UT and in Austin so far," former University Democrats president Brandon Chicotsky wrote in a Facebook message. "We have an office in Dobie Mall on campus with National staff, state campaigners, and students - it's an incredible merger. This office, believe it or not, is run by the students."

According to UT student and Obama volunteer Thaddeus Woody, Dobie Mall is "a private dorm bordering campus."

"The main goal of this office is to get out the student vote on campus and make sure that everyone caucuses on Tuesday night," Woody wrote in a Facebook message.

Student volunteers also participate in phone banking and organizing visibility events, according to The Daily Texan Online.

There are two other Obama campaign offices within Austin city limits, and even more in the greater Austin area, Woody said.

The new UT office, however, seems to be the one attracting big names.

Tom Brokaw dropped in for a visit today, and Chicotsky said "The O.C." star Ben McKenzie and "Ray" actress Kerry Washington are scheduled to visit tomorrow evening.

The enthusiastic students have promised me tours of the campaign office when I arrive in Austin and said they are even "servin' BBQ in the office from time to time."

"Our project is working, our office thriving, our candidate is winning, and politics is changing," Chicotsky wrote. "We are on the front lines of history."