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The Blue & Gray Press | November 23, 2017

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Staff Editorial: Students Unfairly Deemed Freeloaders

On Monday, a statement from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was released.In it, he claimed that 47 percent of Americans support President Barack Obama because they are people, “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them.”

This statement should be disheartening to college students because a lot of what Romney said applies directly to us. While we at the Bullet are not taking sides in the presidential election, we believe it is unfair to label hard-working college students as free-loading “victims.”

In the video, recorded at a private Romney fundraiser back in May, Romney very bluntly states how he views people who align with Obama. The problem with this is that a lot of what he says applies to college students, even if it was not his original intention to call them out. College students, in a sense, have access health care, food and housing, all of which our parents pay for. It is not right to lump college kids in this category when many of them do not support Obama.

No matter what political party any UMW student affiliates with, one thing we as students should all be able to agree on is how tough it is to pay for college. The Economic Research Institute reports that a UMW student’s cost of living is 14 percent higher than the national average. That is not even considering what we have to pay for textbooks and other resources needed just to make it through the day as an undergraduate student.

Romney’s statement suggests he does not support the millions of Americans, college students included, affected by the economic downturn. More importantly, his statement shows the importance of this election to college students, and how we need to pay attention to statements like these to make an informed decision come November.