By Ellen Strassner
As the 2016 presidential election draws closer, we are learning more about the candidates and what they have to offer the American people.
Social issues are a big part of this election, but so are financial issues. As college students, one of the issues that affect us the most is the cost of education. The amount of government funding spent on public universities, such as KU, is in constant debate. The fight for more affordable tuition and the currently high
interest rates on loans are all discussed when education is brought up.
The best part of this discussion is that we have the power to join in.
Affordable college tuition is something most students support, so finding the candidate that represents us as a group is a major step. Many politicians, especially on the conservative side of the spectrum, use the cliché that they worked their way through college. But since the cost of education has increased in recent years, simply working your way through college just isn’t feasible anymore. We here at KU pay a fraction of what students at more costly universities are charged; yet many of us still leave with a Bachelor’s degree and $60,000 in loan debt. We need to rally behind the politicians who understand our struggle and realize that we are human beings with families and dreams. We aren’t a way for big banks to make an easy buck from high interest rates.
The only presidential candidate who is actually representing students is Bernie Sanders. A socialist Democrat from Vermont, Sanders has fought for hard working Americans, young and old, ever since he first got involved in politics. Relieving students from debt is a serious subject for him; he takes pride in proposing a more fulfilling educational system with a cheaper price tag.
He wants to make sure students are reaching their full potential, and that those who may have achieved more if they hadn’t been held back by a lack of money can finally get their opportunity to blossom. Bernie Sanders wants to make the dream of college a reality to those who never thought they would be able to go. Education is not something that is exclusively for the privileged, and Sanders understands this.
As the cost of living is rising in addition to the cost of tuition, students are struggling now more than ever. We even have a food bank through campus to help hungry students eat. If we can barely afford to feed ourselves, how will we ever expect to pay the high price of education? Bernie Sanders will make it easier for us in every aspect. Your education matters and so does your well-being. Bernie Sanders is a revolutionary and he is willing to fight for us. I truly believe that.
Today’s colleges and universities are populated mostly by millennials, many of which consider themselves progressives. We are involved in politics and we already fight for a better way of life in many different ways. Now is the time to make revolutionary change when it comes to the higher education system. Now is the time to reduce student debt and provide an affordable education.