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Voting Young

SFR's 2012 Endorsement Issue

October 30, 2012, 10:00 pm

In the 2008 presidential election, President Barack Obama had more than two-thirds of the young voters’ votes, and he received his strongest support for the election from voters aged 18-29. The 2008 election also elicited the most young voter votes in history.

Now, with the upcoming election, where do the young voters stand today?

“He has good ideas, but Congress doesn’t let him do anything because it’s been taken over by Republicans,” Santa Fe University of Art and Design student Sylvya Burciaga-Galven says, tilting her head to the side.

Similarly, Talisa Zayas notes: “Obama is like a celebrity: he doesn’t do much.”

There are certainly issues in this year’s election that directly impact students.

For instance, Congress is debating whether or not to increase the interest rate of student loans. Currently, the rate is 3.4 percent; if Congress increases the rate, it will rise to 6.4 percent.

Students are already worried about paying off their student loans, and increasing the rate it will make it harder for students to pay off their debt, a situation Kevin Jordan describes as unfair “when college already costs a lot of money.”

Zayas sees the potential for increased rates as a situation that “…will make it harder to go to college,” while Burciaga-Galven believes that “if they raise the rates, there will be more drop-outs.”

Indeed, the years of paying off debt makes college less appealing to students. In 2010, for the first time, student-loan debt surpassed credit card debt.

“We can’t even afford college, so why would they raise it?” Meagan Longoria says.

Nonetheless, Obama still holds some of the votes of the young voters.

“Obama is an intelligent man who speaks his mind and sets out to better this country,” Gabrielle Medina says. “He is getting more troops back into the US, and his wife is doing a lot with work for the environment and health with kids. He still has my vote.”


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