Area student government leaders endorse Obama


We, the student government leaders of colleges in the Philadelphia region, endorse Sen. Barack Obama as the candidate of our choice for the Democratic candidate for U.S. president.

Firstly, we must note that we are speaking on behalf of our own views as prominent student leaders at our institutions, not on behalf of the student body or our student governments. However, because this is a particularly close presidential primary race with the next contest here in Pennsylvania, we feel it appropriate to endorse a candidate.

From our experience in organizational leadership, it is manifestly clear that the tone of leadership is often the difference between progress and deadlock. Good ideas and solutions are the first step, but it takes great communicators and motivators to truly unify people around a collective goal and achieve lofty policy objectives. When you examine Obama’s ability to communicate and motivate, there is no doubt that his abilities surpass any political leader in recent memory.

Obama’s campaign has brought millions into the ranks and has truly relied on a grassroots effort that continues to unify more and more Americans in his campaign. As members of the ‘youth,’ and as the rising leaders of tomorrow, this hope and belief in a new kind of politics means more than just the shibboleth of ‘change’ and ‘hope.’

Obama’s plan to address the concern of financial assistance for higher education particularly resonates with us. His plans to simplify the application process for financial aid, expand Pell Grants to low-income students, streamline direct loans for students and create the American Opportunity Tax Credit are critical in truly making higher education available to any American who wants to go to college. Witnessing peers struggle to pay for college, especially with a relatively grim outlook on the current economy, fuels our conviction that Obama’s leadership can bring about the change we’ve been waiting for.

Obama also understands how education and leadership from government can help keep the American economy at the forefront of innovation and progress.

We need a president who wants to make sure the United States remains the preeminent land of opportunity. Higher education is the source of the leaders of tomorrow. It is an investment in the future political, economic, technological and cultural success of the United States. Obama understands that our future begins through investing in education and innovation today.

We, as student leaders, wholeheartedly endorse Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States. He possesses the leadership, passion, solutions and charismatic audacity to truly bring about positive changes in this country that we – as students – can believe in.

Juan Galeano
Jason Karsh
John Von Euw
Meghan McAllister
Fabrizio Barbagelata

All authors are leaders in their respective college or university’s student government. Juan Galeano is president of Temple Student Government, Jason Karsh is chairman of the University of Pennsylvania’s undergraduate assembly, John Von Euw is president of Villanova University’s student body, and Meghan McAllister and Fabrizio Barbagelata share the presidency of Haverford College’s students’ council.

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