Students say president will be forced to unite, fix battered economy

Alesha Gilleland, treasurer of Student Senate and Howie Lindeman, sophomore, hand out elections shirts on campus on Nov.3.

Alesha Gilleland, treasurer of Student Senate and Howie Lindeman, sophomore, hand out elections shirts on campus on Nov.3.

Andrew Ford

The votes have been counted and the “I voted” stickers are being stashed away for another November.

While Barack Obama is set to be inaugurated as our 44th president in January, Missouri Southern students are still dealt with a political and economic situation which has caused the stock market to shed billions of dollars. Students have a wide range of ideas for what he should attempt on his first day from ending the war to inviting foreign leaders

Kevin Zimmerman, 20, is a junior special ed. major from Olathe, Kan. and believes Obama will need to do something to unite the political parties.

“He needs to do something that shows unity between the two parties,” he said. “From watching the results I’ve seen it seems there are a lot of states that were very close.

Zimmerman noted that though a lot of citizens voted for Obama, a big block voted for McCain and it’s important that he include those too.

“Yes, he got a lot of people to vote for him but he needs to do something for those people that were planning to vote Mccain,” he said. “I think a lot of people have put a lot of hope into who the next president will be. It will take time though.”

Zimmerman thinks though change is on the way, he said some people may be upset if it doesn’t change as fast as they’re hoping for.

Amanda Van Lue, 21, is a junior pre physical therapy major from Lawson and would have some fun before working on the economy.

With her arms stretched out Van Lue said, “I would look in the oval office and say, “Look I own this!”

Van Lue voted for Obama and hopes the economy will get better but thinks it will continue to fluctuate.

She said the US’s biggest issue is the economy.

“The economy and the fact that it’s going down the drain,” Lue said. “It affects buying and selling houses, food, pretty much everything.

Martin Ott, 23, is a senior business administration major from Nuremberg, Germany, and said the U.S. economy is currently in a recession.

Ott said that he thinks the economic situation will improve, however, and the worst of the financial crisis is over.

“After every low point there is a high point,” he said. “I think people lost their trust in banks and lost faith in people in high management positions.”

Ott said he thinks Obama should invite leaders from European countries including Germany and Great Britain to discuss solutions to economic issues.

A future teacher said she voted for Obama because of his stance on education.

According to Becca Bladow, 18, a freshmen elementary education major from Bentonville, Obama will cut costs for college as well as increase the wages of teachers.

“He wants to increase access to scholarships for aspiring teachers,” she said.

Bladow thinks the economy will improve but it may take time. Bladow said Obama planned to “spread money around.” Though she views it as a form of socialism she thinks the benefits will be good overall.

Brennan Benkert, 20, is a junior biochemistry major from St. Clair, and said Obama will first need to establish what his plans are.

Benkert says the economy is doing poorly and will continue to decline.

“It’s definitely in a downward spiral,” Benkert said. “People aren’t happy, prices are increasing and there’s very little confidence right now.”

Even if the economy doesn’t recover soon, he believes legislation will pass quickly.

“He should be able to get lots of legislation passed because democrats have a majority in the senate and the house,” Benkert said.

He isn’t sure whether or not any of the legislation will help though. When asked if he thought the economy would improve when Obama is elected he had little to say.

“I hope,” Benkert said while biting his lip.

A 19-year-old biology major will take a wait-and-see approach to what the effects of a president will be.

“I think you can’t really tell what a president is going to do until much later,” said John Lowe. “I think it’s too early to tell that.”

Lowe believes the economic situation varies state to state, with Missouri faring better than larger states like California because of the cost of living.

He believes Obama needs to end the war soon though.

“We need to get the troops out. I think we’re spending billions a week and stopping that would boost the economy too,” Lowe said.

Reba Hocker, 21, is a junior biology pre-vet. from Drexel and would take a more realistic approach on her first day if she was elected president.

“What do they usually do?” she asked. “I would probably move in my furniture.”

Hocker see’s problems with the governments ability to pay out Social Security.

Hocker said she thinks people are making a bigger deal of the economic situation than they should.

“I think everybody is making a big deal, but I think they’re over playing it.”