DALLAS TWP. — There is a lot of stereotyping in this general election, Mark Grudzinski said at an election forum at Misericordia University Sept. 15.
“If you vote for (Donald) Trump, you are seen as a racist. If you vote for Hillary (Clinton), you are crazy. If you supported Bernie (Sanders), you wanted free stuff,” Grudzinski said, citing examples of stereotyping. “No one wants to educate themselves like we are doing right now.”
A student at Misericordia, Grudzinski voiced his opinion of the presidential campaigns at “The U.S. Presidential Candidates and Their Domestic Policies” forum held in the Sandy & Marlene Insalaco Hall.
“The reason we created this event is because the GLNS (Government, Law and National Security) Club is running an ‘MU Lead the Vote’ drive on campus,” said Rebecca Padot, an assistant professor of history and government at Misericordia University. “The GLNS is bringing vans to drive voters to the polls.
“So what is missing from that equation? Knowing how to vote.”
To help students sort through political agendas, a four-member panel of faculty was comprised of Joseph Curran, executive director of the Ethics Institute and associate professor of religious studies; Padot; Christopher A. Stevens, assistant professor of history and government; and Maureen Romanow Pascal, associate professor of physical therapy.
The 45-minute event was organized by the university’s Department of History and Government and attracted nearly 100 students.
The panel discussed Clinton’s and Trump’s platforms on topics such as student loan debt, immigration, healthcare and the environment.
Clinton’s policy on making college education more affordable includes a proposal of free tuition at four-year public universities for students in families that earn up to $125,000 a year by the year 2021, Padot said.
“(Clinton’s plan) covers tuition only and not books and housing,” she said, adding Clinton also wants to make community college education free.
“Education would be funded by high-tax earners,” she said.
Padot said Trump agrees the $1.3 trillion student loan debt needs to be addressed but did not see a defined proposal from his campaign.
Trump and Clinton agree changes in healthcare are necessary to address rising medical and prescription costs, she said.
Trump wants to repeal Obamacare and create an open market in which consumers can buy health insurance across state lines, Padot said.
Clinton’s plan is to expand Medicare and fix Obamacare, which has helped many citizens who would have been uninsured, she said.
Pascal said Trump needs to develop a more comprehensive plan to help those with mental illness while his counterpart has a well-defined plan.
At the question-and-answer portion of the event, one female student said she was a Trump supporter but, after having both candidates’ platforms explained at the forum, is reconsidering her vote.
Frank Wojtash, a student, is choosing to support Trump.
“I feel our border is not protected,” he said. “There is a chance of terrorists coming in.”
Student Nic Mazzone is opting not to vote because he feels neither candidate is adequately addressing the issues facing the nation.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.