Your View: How will the election affect you?

Nicole Stempak

Armed Services

Senior nursing major Lucy Bednarz, who is also in the Army ROTC program, said she has been watching the candidates’ plan for the war as well as health care.

“I’m going to Iraq,” she said. “I know that’s going to happen. I’m not so sure how I feel about all of their plans, but I focus on the health care because there are so many guys coming back who need it.”

Bednarz said she sympathizes with patients who don’t have insurance because “they go through so much.”

“If you’ve ever dealt with patients who don’t have insurance, it’s really tough,” she said.

Chaz Deering, sophomore general studies major and in the Army ROTC program, has a pessimistic view about the president-elect and the war.

“I don’t think too much is going to change with the war either way,” he said, in terms of how soon troops will return to the U.S. “We’re going to be over there no matter what.”

Joseph Paydock, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army and ROTC admissions officer, said he doesn’t want people to think the army is promoting a candidate because “we directly answer to the president.”

“We all have opinions, strong opinions, (from/on) both sides, but we refrain from having a public discussion on those, especially in uniform,” he said. “We don’t want people to think that we speak for the army.”

Foreign Policy

Aron Sahle, senior political science and psychology major, said he stays current on the election news because of America’s influence on the world.

“If America’s affected, pretty much everyone else is affected, especially currency-wise,” he said.

Sahle, an international student from Ethiopia, said if the dollar increases, the exchange rate will also increase. The currency in his country, the birr, went from eight to 10 birrs for one American dollar since he first came to the United States three years ago.

International student adviser Tafara Burutsa said the next president will directly influence America’s world-standing.

“The next president’s foreign policy will determine the outcome of the financial crisis as well as what happens regarding the two wars and America’s popularity,” he said.

LGBT Issues

Leora Rzepka, senior health education major, said the candidates plan for LGBT issues will determine who will win her vote.

“Because I am the president of PRIDE(!Kent), I am very interested in getting equality for the LGBT community,” she said.

Kat Rybski, junior anthropology major and PRIDE!Kent secretary, said it’s an easy distinction when it comes to which candidate supports LGBT issues.

“Obama openly stated how much he supports LGBT issues,” she said.

She said Obama has gone out of his way to talk to journalists about the LGBT community.

Rybski said the LGBT community would be “comfortable” with Obama in office.

“The fact that he supports LGBT rights doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to happen, but the things like the Matthew Shepard Act (passed),” she said. “If laws like that got passed, and I’m not saying Barack Obama can get things like civil unions to happen, but it’s more comfortable to a lot of LGBT people.

“You know there isn’t going to be someone in office who isn’t adamantly going to work against (them).”


McCain’s across-the-board spending freeze is one reason why Jeremy Neal, graduate student in chemical physics, will vote for Obama. That’s why he has an Obama sticker plastered to his office window.

He said Obama supports scientific research and improvements, especially in math and science, but doesn’t think research is one of McCain’s priorities.

Neal explained that essentially all of the research funding comes through scientific grants.

“That’s where my paycheck comes from,” he said. “Of course, you have to pay attention to where your money comes from.”

Jake Fontana, graduate student in chemical physics, thinks Obama understands the role of basic research in maintaining a global status.

“I think it’s at the core because I think a lot of the issues stem from a lack of fundamental education,” he said. “I think if we can nail down the basics, in terms of educating the youth, I think it’ll solve a lot of our problems now and in the future.”

And science is at the cornerstone of that change of direction, Fontana said.

“I think if competing countries like China, India or Europe get ahead of us in technology, it’s basically going to be our downfall,” he said.

Contact student politics reporter Nicole Stempak [email protected].