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Features

Students State Their Stance In Election

Before President Barack Obama or Governor Mitt Romney battled it out in the David S. Mack Center at Hofstra University, students were out in full force getting involved, showcasing differing opinions and viewpoints. With the campus brimming with excitement, both politically and enthusiastically overall, students ranging from South Korea to Boulder, Colorado were eager to state their claim for one of the candidates as the clear choice as the next president of the United States.

The campus pumped up its volume for awareness and student outreach, creating various panel events and talks leading up to the second of three presidential debates. The typical college student is undoubtedly influenced by their peers, professors and parents. Political alliances aside, students have expressed both positives and negatives about the possibility of a re-election of Obama or a Romney victory.

Whether or not their wishes come true remains to be seen. Anton Community Newspapers polled ten random students on the main campus on Tuesday, Oct. 16. There responses differed and opinions contrasted; something a democracy welcomes.

The panels, events and gatherings that were available to students leading up to the debate rivaled that of a deluxe Chinese buffet. From CNN’s Chris Matthews, former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to Karl Rove, Jeb Bush and John Stossel, Hofstra grabbed a second chance in four years to have the eyes of the world watching the politically charged campus in Hempstead.

“This gives Hofstra a significant amount of visibility,” said Richard Himelfarb, associate professor of political science. “It makes people who otherwise not think of Hofstra, as a potential college. My sense about Hofstra, is Hofstra right now has attained the status as a regional university.”

The debate in Hempstead marked only the second time a university held consecutive presidential debates. Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. was the first.

“The debate is enormous in raising [Hofstra’s] profile,” National Center for Suburban Studies Dean Lawrence Levy said. “It’s means that for several days at least, it’s the most known and talked about university in the country. It’s got students jazzed up. It’s got professors jazzed up. It is very much a part of Hofstra’s agenda to become a top shelf, national university.”

Levy and Himelfarb were on a panel on Oct. 15 titled “State of the Race,” a discussion with Meena Bose, director of the Peter S. Kalikow Center for Presidential Studies about presidential politics, independent voters and impact of the debates on the voters.

“All the things I’ve been dealing with have to do with national...suburban politics,” Levy stated.

“I speak to groups of parents of kids who are coming here during the admissions weekends,” Himelfarb said. “I tell them with complete honesty and conviction that if you’re really interested in American politics, where are you going to go to get better first-rate education.”

Students On The Street

Anton Community Newspapers polled ten random Hofstra University students, asking who they were voting for and why. These were their brief responses:

Nic Christopher
School Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Boulder, CO
Who is he voting for?
Barack Obama
Why?
“I support his platforms and ideals. Assistance in paying for college is a huge thing for me. My mom lost her job the day I started college so it’s been hard. This is not a cheap school and I got a half-ride scholarship but I’m still paying a lot.” 

Matthew Barry
School Year: Junior
Hometown: West Islip, NY
Who is he voting for?
Barack Obama
Why?
“I’ve always been a Democrat. I think we should give him another four years. Let’s see what he can do with another term. I honestly believe in four years, we’ll look back and say we’re happy that he was our president.”

Sarah Bowen
School Year: Freshman
Hometown: Oklahoma City, Okla.
Who is she voting for?
Undecided
Why?
“I’m from Oklahoma, which is obviously a very red-leaning state. After being exposed to everything up here in New York, I’m trying to remain as open as possible. With the debates coming up, it’s a great way to see who you’re going to vote for. It’s very interactive.

Jordyn Mayerhofer
School Year: Freshman
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Who is she voting for?
Mitt Romney
Why?
“Abortion is my biggest thing. Obama supports that, therefore I go the opposite way. I’m also against his health care plan.”

Ariana Queenan
School Year:
Freshman
Hometown:
Norristown, PA
Who is she voting for?
Barack Obama
Why?
“I agree with his health care policy. I agree with almost every policy of his except his immigration ideas.”

Lennon Safio
School Year: Freshman
Hometown: Rockville Centre, NY
Who is he voting for?
Barack Obama
Why?
“I don’t have confidence in Romney as a president. He has not put forth a plan that I think is right for this country. He talks a lot, but has not backed up his ideas with cold hard facts, especially tax cuts.”

Jay Sia
School Year: Senior
Hometown: Boston, MA
Who is he voting for?
Barack Obama
Why?
“It’s a tough question of who I’m voting for. What’s right for America, blah blah blah. I’m going to vote for Obama. I’m not going to [vote] for Romney because he was the governor of my state and trust me, you do not want him as the president of our country.”
Photo by Rich Forestano

Cody Heintz
School Year: Senior
Hometown: Coram, NY
Who is he voting for?
Barack Obama
Why?
“I’m a fiscal moderate and a social liberal. I may not agree on everything with Obama, but compared to Mitt Romney, I agree with [Obama] a lot more.”

Priya Jacob
School Year: Junior
Hometown: Syosset, NY
Who is she voting for?
Barack Obama
Why?
“From what I heard, he knows the struggle of a college student and how much debt is put on us. From a previous interview I saw, it seems he knows what we’re going through. I have faith in him and I want to see what he will do for us.”

Lucia Palazzo
School Year:
Junior
Hometown: Blairstown, New Jersey
Who is she voting for?
Barack Obama
Why?
“I would not be at this awesome school if I was not receiving federal aid, so I’m not a fan of Romney and Ryan’s plan to slash government scholarships and also LGBTQ and women’s rights are important to me and I want a progressive president.”