San Francisco State University students praise Sanders’ free college plan

By Jordan Lalata, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – A group called Students for Bernie Sanders at San Francisco State University hosted a Democratic debate watch party recently to inspire more people to take part in the presidential election.

Among the topics that were discussed during the debate — college tuition. It’s a subject these students know well, and they wanted to hear what the candidates, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have to say about it.

“Sanders is the type of candidate that thinks we need to re-prioritize our spending. A lot of people like to portray it as him wanting to give our free stuff but that’s not how it is,” political science major Mitchell Wilkinson said. “We see the government spending hundreds and billions of dollars a year on the military and corporate subsidies, and subsidies are the biggest oil corporations, and we’re saying ‘what the hell’s with that?’”

Sanders’ plan, called the College for All Act, along with The Robin Hood Tax, would provide free-tuition at all public colleges and universities.

That is compared to Clinton’s New College Compact, which aims to lower the price tag for a college education, would save students from acquiring debt.

The watch party was the first for Filipino American Rey Lopez, who joined the Sanders group on campus.

He supports Sanders’ plan for free-tuition, and says his job as a Lyft driver, plus his scholarships and grants are not enough to cover his living expenses and school supplies.

“I won’t have to work as much am I am in order to pay for my books and a place for me to live. If I only had to worry about rent and food, then I wouldn’t make enough money to pay for school,” Asian-American studies major Rey Lopez said. “The tuition is a large portion of my income.”

While Sanders’ free-tuition plan sounds like a good idea to college student Tyler Primas, she has doubts.

“I like Hillary over Bernie because she’s a little bit more realistic,” Primas said. “I don’t think free education is going to be a [real] thing this time next year.”

Free-tuition was previously offered within the University of California System, but that ended in the 1980s. Other nations, however, do offer free-tuition.

“We would be joining France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, I believe, and Finland. There is a lot of industrialized and developed nations that offer education free to their citizens,” Wilkinson said. “It’s just for public colleges so it’s really not that radical of an idea.”

Students for Bernie Sanders plans to encourage more participation by planning future debate watch parties and are even working to bring Sanders to campus.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Mario
    11 March 2016 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    The hard working American will pay for their free tuition. Taxes will be increase up to 85% or more. This how Socialism works, high taxes, punish the rich, punish the hard working middle class, collect high taxes and distribute it to the poor , known as re-distribution of wealth..

  • Kenikeni
    14 March 2016 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    No to Sanders!!