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President seeks to further current plan

November 1, 2012

As election day comes ever closer, supporters of incumbent President Barack Obama are getting ready to cast their ballots; some of them for their first time ever.

“I’m really excited,” said UW-River Falls student Bridgette Deeny.

This will be the first presidential election she’s been able to vote in.

Deeny said she plans on voting for Obama because of his stances on multiple social issues that affect her personally.

“I feel like Obama mostly represents the kind of change I want to see in my community,” said Deeny. “I feel like he’s more open minded about the issues that I care about like birth control and gay marriage. I feel like Romney doesn’t support those issues and that if they’re even brought up at all they’d be put on the back burner.”

Emily Wilcoxson, a member of the UWRF College Democrats, said that President Obama’s stances on social issues were important to her.

“I’m definitely pro-choice and I’m definitely for Obamacare with [women] being able to get contraceptives,” said Wilcoxson.

Energy and the environment is another issues for some voters.

“I’m really into green energy and I love that we’re giving more money to green energy research,” said Wilcoxson, who is working on an environmental studies minor.

Issues concerning the economy and education are also on these students’ minds. Wilcoxson said that she feels Obama is more on the students’ side.

“I know that he’s more for students, education and Pell Grants,” said Wilcoxson. Without Pell Grants, Wilcoxson would not be able to attend school, she said.

Although the average tuition list price at four year institutions has risen by 26 percent since the 2008-2009 academic year, according to the College Board, the net price, what students pay after grants and tax credits are factored into the equation, has risen at a slower level due to increases in federal aid under Obama.

“The Obama administration pushed and got the indirect student loans changed to direct student loans so that much of the money going to the middle men, being the banks and other lenders, is now available to students,” said Professor Davida Alperin, who teaches a class on American political policies and elections.

Darren Spence, a member of UWRF College Democrats said he was glad that the increases in federal aid have come to pass.

“[Our eduction] is not something you should profit off of,” said Spence.

Spence is also concerned about the United States’ place in the world, and that Governor Mitt Romney’s vision of the world doesn’t correlate with his own.

“He basically seems like he’s more in favor of pushing America’s agenda on the western world,” said Spence. “I don’t think it’s America’s place in the world anymore to dictate terms to the rest of the world.”

Alperin said that she sees opposing viewpoints held by many students in her classes.

“One thing I like teaching here is because there are quite a few Democrats and quite a few Republicans,” said Alperin. “There are other campuses you can go to which have 90 percent of one or the other.”

Although multiple viewpoints are represented in her classes, Alperin said that she feels that many students are still hesitant to discuss politics in depth.

“I think more of that has to do with the fact that there’s so much bitterness in the public discussion,” said Alperin.

Roman Nordland will also be casting his first ballot on Nov. 6, but said that Romney is his candidate of choice.

“Mitt Romney considers issues that I have value on,” said Nordland.

Romney’s stances on abortion, domestic and foreign policy as well as the economy all appeal to Nordland, but he said that outreach to students has been lacking from both major candidates.

“It’s so important. In order to get the kind of change you want to see in the world you need to use your voice. It’s such an easy thing to do. I hope everyone votes,” said Deeny.

One thing is clear to these students: voting is crucial in this election.

“No matter who you vote for, make sure you vote,” said Spence.

Early voting in Wisconsin has already begun. Voters can go to their local city hall to vote in person before Election Day. Wisconsin also holds same-day registration for those interested in voting on Election Day.