Sophomore wants 'jobs, not debts'
University of Miami sophomore Tommy Harvey, 19, stood with his backpack strapped to his shoulders as he waited his turn in line at the BankUnited Center polling station in Coral Gables. “It was my first time being able to legally vote,” said Harvey, an international finance and marketing major. “Therefore, I thought I should voice my opinion.”
Harvey voted for the Obama-Biden presidential ticket.
During the presidential campaign, Harvey said he tuned into each of the presidential and vice presidential debates. Obama was the candidate who best represented his views and his family’s, said Harvey, who is from Atlanta.
By giving Obama his vote, Harvey said he felt that students and the middle class would benefit. “Obama’s policies on student loans will make college more affordable,” Harvey said. “That way we won’t be in so deep after we graduate. We can focus on getting jobs that will support our families, not pay off our debts.”
Obama sought to strengthen the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, which offers an income-based loan repayment for college students. The legislation capped repayments at 15 percent of a student’s income and provided that loans be forgiven after 25 years. In 2010, Obama proposed reductions to 10 percent and 20 years. And last year he decided to make the plan available to students who took out loans as early as 2008.
Another pressing issue is healthcare, Harvey said. “I have an aunt with low income who has heart problems. Getting affordable healthcare has always been difficult for her,” Harvey said. “Obamacare has made healthcare more accessible for my aunt and others like her. Everyone should have the right to be healthy.”
Despite hours of standing in line, Harvey said his first voting experience was a positive one. “I plan to vote in the next election, and the one after that, and, well, you get the point,” he said. “It’s my job.”