Entries in Students (3)


Iowa Students Make It to White House Gates But Not Inside

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- They didn’t get the White House tour they had hoped for, but the group of Iowa students who are pushing the White House to reopen tours to the public made it to the White House gates Saturday morning.

The 6th graders from St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Waverly, Iowa posed for photos outside the White House while holding individual paper signs spelling out the phrase, “The White House is our house!  Please let us visit!”  Onlookers cheered the kids in their efforts, with one may saying, “Way to go young people!”

“It’s kind of disappointing, but it’s still kind of fun to see the White House,” Mosai Newsom, one of the sixth grade students, told ABC News.

Seth Abkemeier, another 6th grader who has gone on a White House tour on a previous visit to Washington, D.C., said it’s important for people to have access to the history that can be seen on a White House tour.

“It shows our nation’s history within the White House, and it’s important we get to see this up close” Abkemeier said.  “Like we’ve been saying for a whole week now – it’s our house.”

“I would really like it if you could open the White House, so we could let the tours in,” Naomi Carpenter, a sixth grade student at St. Paul’s Lutheran School, said when asked to send a message to the president.

On Friday, the sixth grade students received a tour of the Capitol where they looked at the Mall from the Speaker’s balcony and stepped on the floors of the House and Senate chambers.  After their stop at the White House Saturday, the kids were planning to hit the Smithsonian museums to take in more of the nation’s history.

“You couldn’t ask for a better learning environment,” Lynn Brown, the students’ sixth grade teacher, said.  “It would have been a benefit and a plus to visit the White House, however, I think the kids take away more than just what they’ll remember through pictures.  The experience this has generated in their hearts and minds has been extraordinary.”

And while they didn’t get into the White House themselves, the kids hoped that others might benefit from their hard work.

“I guess it was OK if we didn’t get to go to the White House, as long as other people get to,” Newsom said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Romney Says Students ‘Pulling Back’ from Obama

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Alex Wong/Getty Images(EUCLID, Ohio) -- Mitt Romney Monday suggested that the Obama administration is going to promise “a lot of free stuff” to college students who are “pulling back” and who are not as “enthusiastic as they were” about an Obama administration four years ago.

Asked by a medical student at Case Western Reserve what he would do about education financing so that more people can afford higher learning, Romney responded, “The answer is not to say, let’s have the federal government give unlimited loans, no interest to everybody who wants them.”

“By the way, you’re going to hear that. In an effort to try to and reengage college students and graduate students to get involved in the Obama campaign, and they’re pulling back, obviously, they’re not as enthusiastic as they were,” said Romney, who took several questions during a town hall event here. “In an effort to try to get them engaged, he’s going to promise to give a lot of free stuff to them. And to say, I’ll pay for your education, or I’ll get rid of the loans.”

“I’m only guessing, but my expectation is that he’s going to find -- as politicians do -- promises of free stuff as a way to get people to vote for him,” Romney predicted of Obama’s campaign plans. “And we’ve heard that time and time again, but the country’s in balance. We can’t promise money we don’t have, and we should not borrow for promises from politicians.”

Romney suggested that he would find a way to make universities more competitive with one another to bring costs down, recalling that “there was a time when people by and large could pay for college with their summer job and for by working during the school year.”

Romney has previously said he supports an extension of the lower interest rate on subsidized student loans, which are set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Targets Student Vote in Campaign’s First Major Public Event

Frank Polich/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- President Obama’s re-election campaign Wednesday night kicked off its first major, public event with prospective voters, going directly to the source of Obama’s most passionate support in 2008: college students.

To the thumping beat of a DJ’s tunes, more than 300 students crowded the Hall of Flags at the University of Pennsylvania for a pep rally, panel discussion and chance to see Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, who was making his first public appearance on the campaign trail.

Messina, flanked by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Obama policy adviser Melody Barnes, laid bare what the campaign has been calculating behind the scenes -- that younger voters, particularly first-timers, will be essential to Obama winning in 2012.

“What people don’t focus on is there’s eight million voters who are 18 to 21 who weren’t old enough to vote last time and who are going to cast their first vote for Barack Obama,” Messina said, making the case for what he said would be a “historic” grassroots push for the president.

“Your older brothers and sisters started it, and you’re going to complete it,” he added to spirited applause.

The campaign billed the hour-long program as the Obama Student Summit, clearly aimed at raising the stakes for millennials and rekindling their enthusiasm ahead of an election now just 368 days away.

Barnes, who was introduced as a “Democratic strategist” since she is still officially part of the White House staff, prosecuted the case for Obama’s jobs plan, health care overhaul and initiatives for higher education and student loans, insisting that if a Republican is elected the popular policies would all go away.

“When you leave your campuses, do you want to walk into your professional lives in a country that’s leaning forward or one that’s leaning backward?” she asked, outlining the familiar contrasts between Obama’s policies and those of Republicans.

“Those are the choices that will be made every day, and especially a year from now in 2012,” Barnes said.

There was little talk of the lagging economy and jobs crisis that has left a disproportionately high number of recent college graduates without work -- and less enthusiastic about politics and Obama than four years ago, according to recent polls.

While Obama won the overwhelming majority of voters under 30 in the 2008 election, taking 66 percent to John McCain’s 32 percent, he now faces challenge of getting them to turn out again.

“Last time, there was a lot more need for change, and there has been a lot of controversy with what Obama’s been doing recently,” said Girish Balakrishnan, 23, an animation and design student at Drexel University. “So it’s iffy to me if he’s even done that great of a job, so it’s always nice to see perspective.

“I’m still on the fence....At this point, I don’t know who to even vote for,” he said. “But there’s still a lot of time.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio