President and Vice President: Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine

Come May, thousands of Ohio University seniors will walk across The Convo’s stage, accept their diploma and exit the idyllic, college-student lifestyle to enter the “real world.” The Post’s editorial board believes achieving the American Dream — which no longer comes in the form of a white picket fence, but rather a living wage and a fulfilling career free of college debt — is more attainable under a Hillary Clinton presidency.

The Post’s editorial board is not without reason. For one, Clinton has actually outlined a policy plan for higher education and ever-increasing student loan debts while Donald Trump has not. Our future is more promising when we support inclusivity and diversity. Trump will not promote such messages, as he has demonstrated time and time again. We cannot have a president so willing to discriminate against women and minorities, as Trump has openly done since the very inception of his campaign. We need a president we can be proud of, one who promotes better lives for all Americans. Trump will never be that president.

This presidential race is a particularly unusual one, but The Post’s endorsement may feel somewhat predictable. College students in a traditionally blue town support and endorse yet another blue ticket, and the beat goes on. But predictability cannot give way to complacency in an election cycle as insane and crude as the one we have been subjected to.

At this point, it may be difficult to sway an OU student to change his or her mind, but we hope to convince our readers of this: vote with the intensity and dedication students may give to anything else their livelihoods depend on, such as a college degree. Remember the future ahead and vote. Neglecting to do so on Nov. 8 (or earlier, if you wish — just go to the Board of Elections on Court Street and ask to vote early) would be downright reckless. The future of the OU alumni to come — and America at-large — will not be something we can be proud of without the work and determination necessary to shape it into something great.

The best way to do that is to cast one’s ballot for Clinton and vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine.

U.S. Senator for Ohio: Ted Strickland

In interviewing Ted Strickland, it became evident he would be the most qualified candidate to tackle those issues that affect many college students: assistance for Ohio students who cannot afford the rising cost of tuition through and aiding those graduates facing student debt. His description of the economic turmoil many students face after college matched ours: the rising cost of higher education has become a crisis. We believe Strickland can help address that crisis statewide.

Additionally, Strickland addressed combating and preventing sexual assaults on college campuses in an endorsement interview with The Post, which is another issue both relevant and important to students at OU. His plans for higher education policy align with Clinton’s as well, and we believe he would continue to represent students’ best interests. However, the notion sitting Sen. Rob Portman has worked with politicians from across the aisle to address the rising costs of higher education — including Kaine — is worth addressing, as it is truly admirable and hopefully something Strickland would continue as senator.

We would also hope to see Strickland implement some of Portman’s more dedicated policies have worked to combat human trafficking and the opioid epidemic in Ohio. Though not always necessarily at the forefront of students’ minds, such issues are undeniably important and should not go ignored in D.C.

State Senator for Ohio’s 30th District: Lou Gentile

Athens and Ohio University voters should elect to keep Lou Gentile in his state Senate seat. He emphasized workforce education and job creation in his endorsement interview with The Post, expressing his desire to create and maintain programs that incentivize Ohio-based students finding jobs within the state after graduation.

A vote for Gentile also keeps Appalachia’s more pressing needs in mind. Gentile has fought for the rights of coal workers through endorsing the passage of the federal Miners Protection Act, in addition to testifying in support of refundable income tax credits to small businesses that hire veterans. He has also backed an increased level of funding for local school districts in Appalachian counties, and voiced concern over issues OU students are privileged to not have to think about often: better infrastructure in southeast Ohio, and increased broadband access, as some villages lack it entirely.

U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 15th District: Scott Wharton

Extreme college loans often serve to cripple a graduate’s options before they even walk across the stage. It’s necessary to have politicians willing to fight to reform these loans to put students more in control and to give them better options.

For this reason, The Post feels, without a doubt, Scott Wharton should be the next representative for the 15th district.

Wharton aims not only to keep colleges and universities accountable for unacceptably high costs for current students but also to bring down the costs for future generations as well.

It is necessary to focus on student loans because, as Wharton said in his endorsement interview with The Post, student loans are the next great financial crisis. The way society handles student loans will in turn affect the housing market, the auto industry and many other sectors of the economy.

If we want a solid economy moving forward, we need to support a candidate who supports the needs of the grads entering the job market. Scott Wharton has the best plans to support people affected by student loans, and he will best serve Ohio’s 15th district in Washington, D.C.

State Representative for Ohio’s 94th District: Sarah Grace

From supporting local governments to protecting the environment, Sarah Grace is the person best equipped to serve as a state representative. She cares about Appalachia, college students and all people across Ohio.

Grace’s efforts to support those at Ohio University and other college across the state set her high above not only her opponent but many other politicians. Her platform includes providing better support to high school students looking to get to college and making college more affordable for anyone interested in attending.

She also wants to make well-being a priority. In an endorsement interview with The Post, Grace specially emphasized good health care options for students and a college campus free from sexual harassment.

People deserve a chance to have a good education, both in quality of education and in safety of environment. Sarah Grace will fight for that on the behalf of votes. She will represent the area well.

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