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This year was the first time many of our students voted in a presidential election—or any election, for that matter—and according to a May 2016 NPR report, college students had the potential to be a strong force. Due to our print deadline, a discussion of candidates would not have been timely, so we asked our students what issues were most important to them.

What issue(s) do you feel most strongly about in this presidential election and why?

“Climate change. We have one candidate who doesn’t even believe climate change is a real thing, despite common consensus from scientists who study climate for a living. We need candidates who will take this issue seriously because we are already seeing the impacts of climate change across the globe and we need to act now to prevent the worst possible scenario, such as wars over food and resources, floods that evict large amounts of people from their homes, and more superstorms, which we’ve already seen.

– Samantha Colombo ’17

“Police brutality, because it’s a major problem within our country and needs to be handled accordingly.”

– Emily Weaver ’18

“Healthcare and taxes, because I feel like they are the most important topics for all citizens.”

– Corinne Donohue ’18

“Health and education are near and dear to my heart, but I don’t know that either candidate represents my core ideals on these two topics. Some things will stand the test of time and legislation, so I don’t see the need  to try and amend it through my choice of political candidate.”

– Josias De Peña ’18

“Education, because it is what impacts me the most right now. I see how messed up our education system has become. I believe this is an important issue because we need to educate today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders.”

– Kayhla Waters ’18

“The improvement of the economy and the improvement of foreign relations. Senator Clinton claims to desire the implementation of certain economic plans that Senator Bernie Sanders presented, whereas Trump’s economic strategy seems to have the potential to be highly detrimental, and I don’t believe either
candidate has been pressured to speak on their plans adequately enough. As for foreign relations, I get the vibe that both candidates are more fixated on war and competition than they are peace, so I’d love to have them discuss why that is.”

– Kyle Bernadyn ’18

“Climate change cannot be ignored or denied as fact. The science is jarring, and for any candidate to claim climate change is a hoax shows they are simply denying the facts presented before them. About half of  Republican candidates dispute the existence of human-caused climate change, while all three Democratic candidates have acknowledged the urgent need to address the issues at the forefront of the matter such as carbon emissions, deforestation, and an increase in global temperatures. With President Obama’s direction, the United States has done more to combat climate change than ever before, and the turnout of this election will determine if the effort to save the planet continues.”

– Steven Gosch ’19

“Women’s rights and education. As a woman, I’d like not only equality of genders, but also I’d like to receive the same amount of respect that men receive in the work place and in society overall. Education, especially for those who are less fortunate, is also important to me. The United States of America does not make education a priority or give its youth the opportunities necessary to be successful. I believe we need to fund afterschool programs and/or musical programs, not cut funding,  which is what has happened. At the end of the day, college is a goal for which everyone should have the opportunity to strive.”

– Paola Bonilla ’18

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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