Va. primary election doesn’t excite Hampton U. students

By A. Raquelle Robinson

HAMPTON, Va. – Students here passed on presidential candidates Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, whom are the only ones to appear on the March 6 Virginia primary ballot.

CBS News’ Political Hotsheet reported that Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum were not on the ballot due to the failure of candidate in collecting 10,000 signatures each in order to qualify.

Some students at Hampton University flocked away from Romney and Paul in the upcoming Virginia Republican primary. Students responded that they were unaware of Romney or Paul’s plans for college education and that they didn’t really know what they would gain from one of them winning office.

 “It is very beneficial to have a president focus on education because most of the country’s leaders and best decision makers have a college degree or a degree of higher learning,” said Blake Bynum, senior business management major from Alexandria, Va.

On Paul’s official campaign website, he promotes homeschooling. He proposes returning the control of education to parents and teachers on the local level.

Romney’s official website did not have education under the issues tab. On Education.com, Alex Burgos, the campaign spokesman for Romney, reported that the candidate wants families to save money for college instead of focusing on direct government assistance.

 “I need the loans, grants, and scholarships to lessen some of the expenses,” said Dustin Scales, sophomore music performance major from New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Christopher Bishop Jr., a junior political science major from Dallas, said that he couldn’t afford school at all without his G.I. bill financial aid.

President Barack Obama’s official website said that education is a national priority and that Obama has doubled investments in scholarships and financial aid. In the president’s State of the Union Address, he proposed that if college tuition continued to go up, then its federal funding would go down and that he will keep the loan interest rate from doubling in July.

 “Less debt is always great,” said Nicole Jones, sophomore biology major from Richmond, Va., who is on loans and a grant.

The Washington Post reported that Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum called President Obama a “snob” for encouraging all Americans to attend college.

“That’s not snobbish,” said Cassandra Spears, a senior biology major from Detroit. “Wanting people to be more educated is not snobbish, that’s smart. Every president should want that for (his) country.”

For the Virginia Primary, students said they deviated away from candidates that don’t relate to them. 

The writer is a student at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

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