An Endorsement of Perseverance

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Staff Editorial
Published: November 6, 2012

Traditionally, The Observer would use this space to endorse a candidate that we believe truly represents the concerns of students like us. But in the mess of Hurricane Sandy, the traditions of the American political system seemed less important than making sure everyone is alright. With some editors stranded in Westchester and Queens and almost unreachable, needless to say we were unable to come to a complete consensus for an endorsement.

Although the East Coast bared the brunt of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath, the disruptions she caused echoed across the nation. Yes, we in New York City are seeing the physical aftermath of the 80 mph winds and the tidal swells and flooding. But the whole nation was thrown off pace when President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney put their campaigns on hold to focus on the state of emergency.

But when the floodwaters subside and Fordham classes begin again, a few things will be clear. First, the relatively low death toll from such an intense storm and the swift and effective response from first-responders proves beyond doubt the ways in which government intervention can be efficient and save lives.

Second, we have obviously learned from past mistakes. After the horrors of Hurricane Katrina, responses to recent Hurricanes Irene and Sandy have been well organized and relatively disaster-free.

We’ve learned a lot from past mistakes as a nation as well. Since the 2008 election, one in which many of us were still too young to vote, we saw unemployment rates climb to staggering heights and then slowly fall below 8 percent, all while our national output has continued to grow.

Still, students are faced with a tough decision next week when they trek home to vote or mail in their absentee ballots. From a students’ perspective, both candidates have their attractive features.

Obama has consistently fought to protect financial aid for college students and capped repayment of federal student loans at 10 percent of a student’s income. Female students especially have a reason to support Obama: his Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) ensured that proper reproductive health care would be available for all women.

But many students believe the economic situation under Obama has not been friendly to college graduates and any senior who faces the job market with the same sense of doom with which we faced Sandy knows that it’s hard out there for a grad. Not only is a college degree no longer an employment guarantee, but many students’ college debt continues to grow despite Obama’s efforts. For many, it is time to believe in another change.

No matter your political leanings, the Observer stresses the importance of fulfilling your civic duty on (or before!) Nov. 6. As students, voting can foster a pattern of involvement in your community that will benefit you and your neighbors in years to come. As Americans, voting unites us in exercising the voice upon which our nation is founded.