Obama Sponsored Bus Makes a Pit Stop at Kent State University
With election season heating up, the Kent State College Democrats rallied the KSU community by bringing President Obama’s sponsored bus “Organizing for America” onto campus.
The bus travels across the nation gathering supporters on issues like health insurance reform and taxes on the middle class. But in August, the bus tour included former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Ohio Representative Kathleen Clyde, to speak to students about issues that matter to them: education and costs.
“It is my thought that education is in trouble,” says Strickland. “It’s especially in trouble at the State level because so many states are cutting back on their investments in higher education so dramatically.”
According to the Canton Repository, Kent State has increased its tuition for undergraduates this fall from $4,673 to $4,836. But it’s not just tuition costs that students are worried about- Pell Grants are also becoming a growing concern.
Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, proposes to cut $115 billion in education. This means that students who rely on Pell Grants as their financial aid will have to go without. Freshman Hospitality Management major, Mark Bujorian, voiced his concern over Ryan’s proposed plan.
“I think it’s really hurting the average student because debts going up, everyone is having even more student loans, the number of student loans passed credit card debt…” says Bujorian. “If anything, we need to do more to help students instead of cut back funding for it.”
Earlier in the month, Romney’s campaign opened a new headquarters in downtown Kent for volunteer work. Protesters from Fight for a Fair Economy showed their opposition by chanting, “Don’t cut Pell Grants!” in the parking lot.
Stephen Dawson, President of Kent State College Republicans, says Republicans are looking for other ways to help students pay their way through school.
“Romney understands that a lot of students can’t afford to go to school,” says Dawson. “We’re going to make it economically accessible for kids to get low interest rate loans and make it so you don’t have to pay it off right away when you get out of school.”
Dawson feels that the Obama campaign gives students the wrong message about education.
“Coming out and attacking [Romney and Ryan]…making them sound like they’re gonna put your mom or grandma over a cliff or you’re not going to go to school if you don’t elect them is irresponsible,” says Dawson.
FNCU spoke to multiple Kent students and the answer was the same: Obama has their vote.
Junior Geology major Allison Reynolds and Junior Fashion Merchandising major Sarah Knapp are voting for Obama to keep schooling costs down.
“He is encouraging young Americans to get an education,” says Reynolds. “I feel the Republicans are kind of making it too expensive for all the young Americans to get an education.”
“[Pell Grants] are a lot of what pays for my schooling,” says Knapp. “If Romney was President, I would be cut a lot of funding.”
Junior Entrepreneurship major, Jordan Jones, is voting for Obama for because of his views on gay rights and equality.
“I think now-a-days people should be more liberal and should be more accepting of people,” says Jones. “I think that’s a big thing we need to work on as a country; to be together and to all be as one.”