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Oct 17 2016
by Prashanth Rajesh

9 Things College Students Actually Want to See Debated

By Prashanth Rajesh - Oct 17 2016

Fewer than 30 days remain until citizens of the United States vote for the next president. At this time, the presidential debates are more important than ever. College students across the nation are tuning in to watch each debate, but unanimously feel as if certain topics are being neglected. These are the nine topics that college students interviewed by Fresh U want to see debated.

1. The Gap Between Pay Equity and Equality

“I would be interested in seeing a debate on how to reduce the gap between equity and equality – making sure everyone has the same opportunity to attend a four-year college – and ensuring there exists at least as great of a demand for our degrees as there is a supply.” -Ikaasa S. (University of California, Los Angeles)

Students across the nation intend to enroll in a four-year college, but many miss out on the opportunity due to economic or academic shortcomings. While affirmative action was intended to minimize this disparity, many believe there are further steps to be taken.

2. Sexual Assaults on Campus

I'd like to see the presidential candidates debate about the issue of sexual assault on college campuses and how colleges will advocate for the victim, even in the case that the perpetrator is someone of potential that may benefit the college's reputation." -Joy P. (Emory University)

With many national cases of sexual assault that are mishandled or poorly addressed, like convicted-sex-offender Brock Turner, many female students across the nation feel increasingly unsafe even in the places they consider home: their college campuses.

3. The Price of College Textbooks

“I'm interested to see the candidates discuss how they intend to resolve the price gouging that is college textbooks.”
- Govind R. (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo)

The classic problem many students face: textbooks cost far more than they should.

4. The Relationship Between Police and African-American Communities

"The candidates should discuss the increasing tension between cops and the black community, what they think is causing the problem and how they will go about solving the problem and mending the communities.”
- Michael Z. (Rhode Island School of Design)

Incumbent President Barack Obama has made strides to address the tensions between police and the African-American community. Many question, however, whether the president-elect will continue this.

5. A Better Foreign Policy

“I'd like to see international policy be debated to a higher degree. Right now it doesn't seem like either candidate has a solid proposal for dealing with threats like ISIS.”
- Sameer J. (University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign)

Each candidate has a basis for foreign policy included within their respective platforms, but the proposed plans aren’t elaborate enough show even a semblance of a solution to many international issues.

6. Crime on Campuses

“Trump and Clinton need to address the problem of crime at college campuses across the nation. Crime rate has increased substantially and it is hindering the students’ ability to exercise their academic abilities to its full potential.”
- Rafael C. (University of California, Berkeley)

Whether it’s bike theft or armed robbery, students across the nation become victims of many crimes on a daily basis, right on their college campuses.

7. The Dakota Access Pipeline

"I'm interested to see them address the Dakota Access Pipeline and how companies should work to avoid infringing on indigenous peoples’ water rights in the future."
- Sarah J. (Yale University)

The DAPL issue has been overshadowed by other life-changing events such as the armed robbery of Kim Kardashian in France, and thus hasn’t received nearly as much media attention, especially from the White House.

8. Things that Actually Affect College Students

"I hope the third debate focuses on actual issues that affect me and everyone living in this country. Global warming, the price of higher education, health care, immigration and economic policy are issues that I believe should have the main floor during the debate instead of personal attacks and constant mentions of the plethora of scandals each candidate has under his or her belt."
- Edgar C. (California State University, Northridge)

Although many of the aforementioned topics apply specifically to college students, this comment has been made by everyone with even a speck of interest in the political scene of the United States; the two previous debates and the various other events throughout this election, have been more ad-hominem attacks than the candidates’ own political platforms.

9. The Candidates and Their Scandals

"I want the candidates to actually address their scandals, like Trump's sexual harassment and Clinton's Wall Street transcripts, instead of just trying to brush them under the rug.”
- Harrison K. (University of California, Irvine)

Despite many wanting to move past the scandals, some students candidates to provide answers to wary citizens regarding said scandals. 

Although students suggested many topics, we shall see what the candidates discuss on their final debate of the election cycle. Tune in to YouTube on Wednesday October 19, 2016 at 6:00pm PST to see if these topics or others made it to the final cut.

Lead Image Credit: PBS 

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Prashanth Rajesh - University of California, Los Angeles

Prashanth is a freshman studying Computer Science and Engineering at UCLA. He enjoys physically demanding activities such as running and dancing, but also loves mentally challenging activities such as discussing politics and playing chess.

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