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Hofstra clubs respond to issues covered at debate

By Stephanie Kostopoulosstaff writer After the debate and all of Tuesday’s events, Hofstra has become much quieter without the helicopters, journalists and protesters hovering around campus. But the effect of this momentous event is louder than all of that. Some of Hofstra’s most influential and passionate clubs are taking the events of recent days to help make a better tomorrow. The Student Government Association (SGA) is basically a microcosm of our large and in-charge federal government. According to Hofstra’s  website, the SGA “is involved in addressing student concerns and the betterment of student life.” Overseeing seven committees and working in the best interest of Hofstra’s clubs, the SGA is responsible for supporting and assisting them as much as possible. The debate gave SGA a chance to evaluate their progress concerning the organization of the debate and all the events on campus that day. Cait Stolzenberg, the student co-chair for the debate, believed the SGA did an excellent job of organizing Wednesday’s events. Hofstra pride could be seen all over campus: in long lines for viewing parties, in mobs of sign-holding students and in the fast-rolling tweets of #HofDebate. “Hofstra students were really engaged this time around,” Stolzenberg said. “I’m so glad that Hofstra students embraced the debate and took full advantage of the opportunity. That’s what college is all about.” Stolzenberg believes that the question concerning student loans and finding jobs after graduation was important to Hofstra students. The question was especially significant because it was the first question of the night, and the debate was taking place at a university. Stolzenberg said that “it was a very fitting question. It hit hard for a lot of students and it will help people choose a candidate, depending on who they think answered it better.” Stolzenberg believes students, especially seniors like herself, will be relying on the better candidate to help them achieve optimal job opportunity. The Hofstra Organization of Latin Americans (HOLA) also took great interest in the debate. HOLA exists to enhance the understanding of the Latino heritage and create unity and awareness of it through cultural, educational, political and social events. Two major issues the club hoped to bring to light during the debate were immigration and student affairs. Senior and Vice President of HOLA Arianna Valdez said, “Being a club with many Latino members, the issue of immigration is a personal issue for many of us.” HOLA recently held a mock debate focused on immigration to provide club members with a detailed understanding of it. They discussed what actions had been taken by the candidates thus far, what laws are currently in place and what the best future would hold, depending on the candidates’ differing policies. Until the debate at Hofstra, the club had come to the general consensus that Obama could have done more for their primary issue. “[We] were hurt that the Obama administration had not fought harder for immigration reform, although some small steps were taken,” said Valdez. “The fact is Obama broke a promise.” However, after Tuesday’s debate Obama redeemed himself. “He further explained the steps he had taken and when compared to Romney’s history and his plans, Obama had a more favorable policy,”said Valdez. Valdez, on behalf of HOLA, wished that the education system could have been further discussed Tuesday night and noted that it is a topic that needs to be seriously addressed. Students for a Greener Hofstra (SGH) works to promote sustainability not only at Hofstra, but on Long Island as well. SGH is concerned with the global environmental issues that are always present during election season. Hofstra senior and President of SGH Jane Miner spoke on behalf of her club. “We know becoming energy independent is a top priority in the US, but we want to make sure the road to success has a strong foundation – green technology and renewable resources.” As far as the Tuesday’s debate goes Miner said SGH agrees that “Neither candidate moved much past this surface issue to really show support for a sustainable movement in America.” Romney wants to make America energy independent but at the cost of damaging the environment.  Although Obama is in favor of clean energy such as wind and solar energy, SGH does not have his support in regards to hydraulic fracturing, “clean” coal and the Keystone XL Pipeline. By the end of the debate Miner concluded, “Neither Romney or Obama represent our stance and values this year.  We hope to see the people drive the environmental movement over the next few years, since we feel like we can’t trust our government to follow through.” The proximity and historic value of the debate created a wave of inspiration within Hofstra’s clubs. Although some issues weren’t addressed or outlined clearly, it only serves to drive our students to take more initiative themselves.

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