Mid-Term Elections also affect us the students
By Maria Montanez, Student at Florida Memorial University
Initiatives are being taken by students of Florida Memorial University to discuss social, economical and political issues that affect our community. A Democrat representative of Miami-Dade and four students from different majors volunteered to participate in a debate. This special event was organized by the Civic Engagement Group at school in order to bring awareness of the issues that are affecting the State of Florida, as well as the nation.
As the midterm elections loom, it is of great importance that the community gets educated about the issues the nation is facing in which both parting are attempting to solve. Consequently, Florida Memorial University has chosen to be politically involved, and as a result it acted to prepare students and teachers alike on the main issues affecting the quality of life of Floridians. The main issues being the argument for raising minimum wage, legalization of medical marihuana, and the allowance of same sex marriage. In addition to this, much was discussed on possibilities of how kids can afford college and finally how Florida Memorial University can begin its process of being a more recognized HBCU, as well as how it can potentially grow and help aid our future generation.
A special guest set the tone and pace of this interesting debate. Bobby Henry, Sr., publisher of the Westside Gazette, as the moderator of this event was able to challenge the panelists with different questions about the various plans that candidate Charlie Crist has and will impose if he gets elected. Therefore, several differing views were presented by the panelists in response to each question given to them. This in turn created controversy as the panelists offered their own opinion also allowing for the audience to take notes and throw in any questions and opinions they may have had.
FMU President Roslyn Artis was in the audience and offered her input on how students could get further engaged in participating in the midterm elections “it is a matter of accountability from each of us to go and vote”.
In a land where freedom of speech is valued and the right to access information is equally available for everyone, students were able to exchange ideas and opinions impressing the faculty staff and president of the school. Juan Cuba, executive director, Miami-Dade Democrats gave solid updated information about what is going on in Tallahassee and what lobbyist are attempting to do in order to make people’s voices heard by those in power.
After an hour of discussing the main issues at hand within the state, panelists along with the audience did not come up with a definite conclusion. Some of the issues that created divided opinions were firstly, whether raising minimum wage will be beneficial for low-middle class people and businesses. Secondly, will the legalization of medical marihuana in fact help those ill and in need? And lastly, the controversy if allowing same sex marriage will indeed help society progress and emphasize or encourage the fight for equal rights for all. Although there were not concrete answers, the outcome of this debate was the realization of how fundamental and crucial it is to have discussions of this caliber in order to execute democracy properly.