Editorial: With Obama victory, time for students to consider


Kristin Zanotti

Saint Anselm students campaign on campus for the President days before the election.

Crier Editorial

On November 7th, some students on this campus woke up ecstatically happy that President Obama was reelected to another term as President. College Democrats were out in force for the President, especially in the weeks leading up to election day. They campaigned hard for marriage equality, women’s freedom in health care, and more government regulation over the economy. Other students were not as happy. They believed President Obama’s reelection meant the end of America as we know it.

Either way, with the president’s reelection, we as students need to review what the President has done for us, and what students should be looking for from him in the next four years.

The Pell Grant program is a resounding victory for the President. His administration rerouted the money for federal student loans. Instead of the money going to banks and being subsidized by private lenders, the money now goes directly to the Pell Grant program. The number of students receiving grants increased from 6 million in the 2008-2009 year to 10 million this year. Although President Obama has made college more affordable for some students, he has not exactly given students opportunity post-college life.

Under President Obama, the national unemployment rate has hovered at around 8 percent. For young people between 16 and 24 the number is even worse, staying around 16 percent, according the Labor Department numbers this fall. This number has dropped at times, but often due to young people dropping out of the work force rather than getting hired.

The President claimed that he created 4.4 million jobs, but 4.3 million jobs were also lost under his presidency, cites the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency approximates the President’s job creation around 125,000 jobs between January 2009 and October 2012. The percentage of young people in the work force this past fall was the lowest it has been since 1955, cites CNN.So the job market does not look that good for us soon-to-be graduates of Saint Anselm, to say the least. This is an area the President definitely needs more work on. Although the Pell Grant program is nice while we are in college we need a way to pay back those loans once we graduate.

The President tries to relieve some of the post-graduate burden through his health care plan. While much of the plan is debated, the aspect of young people staying on their parents plan until they are 26 is not a huge problem. But should it be?

Although it is nice that we as students do not have the pressure of health insurance immediately upon graduating, do we really want to be dependent on our parents’ health plan until our mid-twenties? Wouldn’t we rather be functioning adults with our own jobs and health care? Well, for some of us, yes. For others, maybe not. A lot of students have no idea what they want to do after school. They might want to travel, do missionary work, take an odd job to try something new. As young people, we are so unsettled. The President is giving those who want to pursue non-traditional work a chance to do so without fear of losing health insurance coverage.

President Obama’s pro-choice and marriage equality positions have also played well with a majority of students. President Obama has been a staunch supporter of women’s rights and their choice to have an abortion. He campaigned hard towards women’s issues, especially in the days leading up to the campaign.

Marriage equality was also a big deal to students. The President repealed the long-standing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” military policy regarding homosexuals in uniform, and openly stated support for marriage equality in the U.S. President Obama is the first President to publicly support homosexual marriage.

Our generation is more liberally minded than ever before, and for many students social issues altered their vote in 2012. Although there are still some students who have issues with both of these social platforms, a vast majority believe President Obama is doing more to move the country forward socially than ever before.As the country moves towards healing from the 2012 election, it is clear that for students President Obama is doing a reasonable job. He has made college more affordable, extended health care benefits for young people, and made social changes in line with many students’ personal feelings. The one major issue which remains is jobs. This issue is not unique to students, but we are experiencing the direst impact of the economy.

This single issue should be a huge concern to students. If we do not have jobs, cannot move out of our parent’s homes, and start our own lives then none of the other issues will have any meaning. We want to be successful contributors to our country. We want independence in our young adult years. We want to go out into society and change the world. All those hopes and dreams start and end with a job.