Sunday, April 20, 2008

Philly Student Gov Presidents Endorse Obama

From a press release that was sent to via email,

April 14, 2008

To the Editors of Pennsylvania Publications:

We, the student government leaders of schools in the Philadelphia region, endorse Barack Obama as the candidate of our choice for the Democratic Candidate for President.

Firstly, we must note that we are speaking on behalf of our own views as prominent student leaders at our institutions, not on behalf of the student body or our student government. However, because this is a particularly close presidential primary race with the next contest here in Pennsylvania we feel it appropriate to endorse a candidate.

From our experience in organizational leadership, it is manifestly clear that the tone of the leadership is often the difference between progress and deadlock. Good ideas and solutions are the first step, but it takes great communicators and motivators to truly unify people around a collective goal and achieve lofty policy objectives. When you examine Barack’s ability to communicate and motivate, there is no doubt that his abilities surpass any political leader in recent memory.

Barack’s campaign has brought millions into the ranks and has truly relied on a grassroots effort that continues to unify more and more Americans in his campaign. As members of the ‘youth’, and as the rising leaders of tomorrow, this hope and belief in a new kind of politics means more than just the shibboleth of ‘change’ and ‘hope.’ Barack has truly demonstrated that he has the intangible quality of leadership that does not just embolden him in his efforts to run for president. His leadership inspires millions to join him in his campaign. Especially important to the members of our generation, who will inherit the politics of today, it is critical that we engage in politics now to ensure that we are involved with the politics of our nation. More than any other candidate, Barack has engaged our generation and inspired millions of young voters to get engaged in American politics for the first time.

Barack’s plan to address the concern of financial assistance for higher education particularly resonates with us. His plans to simplify the application process for financial aid, expand Pell Grants to low-income students, streamline Direct Loans for students and create the American Opportunity Tax Credit are critical in truly making higher education available to any American who wants to go to college. Witnessing peers struggle to pay for college, especially with a relatively grim outlook on the current economy, fuels our conviction that Barack’s leadership is can bring about the change we’ve been waiting for.

Barack also understands how education and leadership from government can help keep the American economy at the forefront of innovation and progress:

If we want an innovation economy, one that generates more Googles each year, then we have to invest in our future innovators—by doubling federal funding of basic research over the next five years, training one hundred thousand more engineers and scientists over the next four years, or providing new research grants to the most outstanding early-career researchers in the country.[1]

We need a President who wants to make sure America is preeminent land of opportunity. Higher education is the source of the leaders of tomorrow. It is an investment in the future political, economic, technologic and cultural success of America. Barack understands that America’s future begins through investing in education and innovation today.

We, as student leaders, wholeheartedly endorse Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States. He possesses the leadership, passion, solutions and charismatic audacity to truly bring about positive changes in this country that we—as students—can believe in.


Jason Karsh
Chairman, Undergraduate Assembly
University of Pennsylvania

Juan Galeano
Student Body President
Temple University

John Von Euw
Student Body President
Villanova University

Meghan McAllister and Fabrizio Barbagelata
Co-Presidents, Students’ Council
Haverford College

[1] Obama, Barack. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. Three Rivers Press: New York, 2006. (166-7)