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Students, staff, and faculty talk politics

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Q: Do you feel like the candidates are addressing the issues you’re concerned about?

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The issues I care about are student debt and healthcare. So far neither candidate has done much by way of being specific about the policies they hope to implement. —Alex Breaux, Second-Year Drama Student

My concerns are of course economic, but I am also very worried about the morality police, anti-immigrant sentiment, and foreign policy. The Democrats have been addressing them better, but the big problem is whether they can accomplish what is needed if the Congress is controlled by the Republicans. —Joel Sachs, Music History, Chamber Music, and Graduate Studies Faculties

While I feel passionately about social issues (marriage equality and religious freedom), it’s important to me that our president be in favor of protecting the rights of marginalized communities, continuing and expanding the social programs upon which we depend, ensuring that all economic classes share the burdens of this economy, and representing America with diplomatic finesse and understanding. —Zachary Green, Second-Year Composition Student

I don’t feel like the candidates are addressing my most central issues/concerns: economic and social justice, foreign policy, civil liberties, and, generally speaking, avenues for political participation. —Aaron Jaffe, Liberal Arts Faculty

I think both candidates have been very clear about where they stand on the two issues that are most important to me, gay marriage and funding for the arts. —Midori Samson, Third-Year Bassoon Student

I am interested in their stands on choice, gay marriage, education, and immigration. I want to know that they are willing to work together, to make compromises in order to bring our country together rather than divide it. I think the party platforms say it all! —Leslie Brown Palmieri (B.F.A. ’75, dance)

In education, too much emphasis is being placed by both candidates on high-stakes testing and data-driven results. The impact on learning that comes from the human relationships between teacher and student is being overlooked in the current managerial-style, technology-driven trends that out-of-touch policy makers are following. —Beata Moon (B.M. ’90, piano)

This election is about more than the unemployment rate or the S&P 500, it is about the role of government in modern America and promoting and providing a social safety net to its most vulnerable citizens and the advantages and flaws of the capitalist system. —Pablo Rincon, Second-Year French Horn Master’s Student

Not really, because there is no specificity in what the candidates say about how they plan to attack the big issues, like the solvency of Social Security and Medicare, or deficit reduction. —Carole Adrian, Assistant to the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs

What makes me nervous for this country is the apathetic voter making choices based on sound bites and crooked smiles. —Rob Ross, Administrative Director for Performance Activities, Pre-College

Q: If you had a chance, what would you ask Obama and Romney?

What steps will you take to ensure the Congress will work together for the good of the country? —Leslie Brown Palmieri (B.F.A. ’75, dance)

Obama: How will you be able to more effectively pass legislation and facilitate debate between the two parties? Do you still have the “audacity of hope,” or has it been dulled by your past four years?
Romney: What’s your opinion on implementing stricter regulations on the financial sector? Why do you put your foot in your mouth so often? What hair products do you use? —Alex Breaux, Second-Year Drama Student

Will you admit to the American people that our empire is on a path toward collapse and we must begin adapting our way of living back into balance with what nature can sustain? —David Ross, Second-Year Historical Performance Student

How can you get Congress to pay attention to the best interests of the country rather than problems like the deficit which were inherited from the previous administration? —Stephen Clapp, Violin and Chamber Music Faculties

What, if any, extra-electoral avenues for political activity would you like to foster? —Aaron Jaffe, Liberal Arts Faculty

How do you deal with stress? What do you do to stay centered? How do you shut out the world’s problems before going to sleep at night? —Beata Moon (B.M. ’90, piano)

What are your views on the roles of arts education and philosophical education in the public K-12 system, and how can we ensure students are graduating not just with test-taking skills but also with critical thinking skills? —Zachary Green, Second-Year Composition Student

Why is it that the word CULTURE does not appear in any of your campaign speeches or presidential debates? —Mirian Conti, Evening Division Faculty

Obama: Why aren’t you painting the big picture, helping the electorate to see how our current mess has its roots in previous administration? —Bärli Nugent (B.M. ’76, M.M. ’77, flute), Assistant Dean; Director of Chamber Music

How do you feel about leading a country in which nearly a quarter of its citizens have been through its penal system? Is there anything you would like to change about that? Do you think for-profit corporations and respective lobbyists might be exerting influence on legislators and judges to keep prisons full? —Pablo Rincon, Second-Year French Horn Master’s Student

Obama: I have admired your patience, thoughtfulness, and refusal to act from the gut, but in a second term, can you bang some heads together to accomplish even more? Romney: When are you going to back up your platitudes with concrete ideas? —Joel Sachs, Music History, Chamber Music, and Graduate Studies Faculties

Seriously, what the hell is the big deal about gay marriage?! —Midori Samson, Third-Year Bassoon Student

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