State of the Union address inspires

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday delivered inspiring words ranging from continued support for raising the minimum wage and renewed diplomacy with Cuba to cybersecurity issues.

For students, this speech was of particular importance as Obama highlighted aspects that will affect many of us.

His focus on a newly strengthened economy kicked off the speech with a strong start. “With a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, booming energy production, we have risen from recession freer to write our own future,” the President proclaimed.

Citing his plan to “lower the cost of community college to zero” — in addition to promoting companies that help pay tuition for employees and a promise to support the middle-class by closing tax loopholes for the “1 percent” — he showed he has realistic ideas to support students.

Obama is clearly challenging Congress to finally take education seriously, which is a breath of fresh air.

While topics such as gun control and the burgeoning debt were noticeably absent from the SOTU, hopes should be high for students if Obama’s plans get through Congress.

We urge both Democrats and Republicans to take Obama’s proposals seriously — especially regarding closing tax loopholes, supporting free community college and in keeping the economy strong by supporting the middle-class.

We recognize that the SOTU is usually filled with rhetoric. But with no elections left to win, it’s likely we are finally seeing Obama’s true colors — colors that could help millions of struggling students around the U.S.