Clinton best for advancing educational opportunities

By Sarah

This is one of the most important election years in a long time, especially for students. The Democratic Party is moving toward the future and building programs that allow people to move in a positive direction.
President Clinton has been and will continue to be the link that brings everyday people and government together. Bob Dole is out of touch with the needs of Americans and dwells on what has been done. Clinton is looking at what needs to change to best fit the needs of Americans and is moving toward progress. If we allow Dole and a Republican Congress into Washington, we will be tearing down walls that were built to protect the privileges and freedoms of Americans.
The future lives of young people are threatened by the Republicans. Education — from preschool to college — is a key factor in the outcomes of our future. Without access to education, we cannot get very far in life.
The Republicans have continuously fought against financial aid and educational programs that help needy and disadvantaged students. It is quite ironic that the same Republicans, such as Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey, would not be where they are today if they hadn’t received financial aid, yet they continue to support cuts in educational funding. Anyone who goes to a public institution of higher learning is on financial aid because the government subsidizes tuition. Without all forms of financial aid, many students — current and future alike — will be denied access to education. If cuts are made in financial aid, only the very wealthy will be able to receive a college education.
Without Bill Clinton as president, the future hopes and dreams of students in Minnesota and across the nation are threatened. Clinton wants to make sure equality of opportunity exists for every individual, and by securing educational funding he is making great strides toward that goal. Not only is Clinton an advocate of educational funding, he also supported the increase in the minimum wage, which affects many students struggling to pay for their college education. The increase in the minimum wage helps alleviate many of the financial burdens students face when trying to balance work and school.
Speaking from personal experience, I would not be able to attend college without financial aid programs. I became involved with politics because I am concerned about the future of government and its role in our lives, especially the role of government in education. I believe individuals have the power to change government and shape it to best fit our interests.
Student efforts on campus in support of financial aid prove that we can make a difference. Students rallied around an important cause that succeeded in helping to restore $2.7 billion in proposed cuts to financial aid programs. It is efforts like this that make a difference to people, and it is those very actions that can get one person to vote or get someone interested in their personal stake in government processes.
President Clinton has given me hope that government can and will continue to work for the people, but this cannot happen if he is not reelected.
Clinton came to Minnesota on Oct. 28 despite the fact that a visit to Minnesota is not necessary to win the election. Clinton came to Minnesota to support Paul Wellstone and show his gratitude for all the support we have given him. This rally was integral to building support for an important election. The support and enthusiasm of Democrats was further strengthened by the president’s visit.
Tuesday is the day to cast your ballot. Contrary to popular belief, every individual vote counts and matters, especially this year. Voting is a privilege that many people take for granted. Many individuals and social movements organized to fight for the right to vote and some died in the battle to obtain voting rights. Fifty percent of the population does not take advantage of this privilege for which others have given their lives. I think every person owes it to themselves to vote. Voting is a powerful privilege that others are still fighting for in countries around the world. We are lucky because we have the freedom to vote, so take advantage of the chance to make your voice heard.
This election is about everyday people and issues that affect their daily lives — it’s about families, the elderly, the poor, the disabled, students and, most importantly, securing the future for our children. Many of the social programs that are integral in our lives are threatened if we allow Republicans to go back to Washington. Vote for Bill Clinton and the rest of the Democratic ticket.

Sarah Clyne, a senior studying sociology and Spanish, is chairwomanof The University Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party