Unemployment on MCCC’s mind

Students at MCCC and across the state agree that unemployment is the most important political concern.

More than 600 students who attended the Michigan Student Political Issues convention ranked unemployment as their biggest concern. 

The convention, held at Henry Ford Community College, included 21 MCCC students led by Dr. Joanna Sabo, professor of political science.

According to Sabo, the 21 MCCC students also agreed that the most important issue was unemployment.

Sabo added, however, that students also were concerned about U.S. soldiers and overseas wars.

“They also wanted to see the troops come home,” she said.

Unemployment, however, was the big concern.

“We need jobs,” Matt Fhanestock said.

Fahnestock, who lives in Carleton, said he thinks it will be tough to get America going again without jobs.

“If we don’t have jobs, people can’t buy things; if people don’t buy things, business suffers. If business suffers, then America suffers,” he said.

According to Michigan’s official website, the state’s current unemployment rate is 9.3 percent, almost 1 percent higher than the 8.5 percent rate of the entire country.

Gay marriage also was rated as an important issue by the students who attended the convention, but some MCCC students did not agree.

“I don’t think gay marriage should be an issue,” Molley Kellie said.

Kevin Barron acknowledged gas prices as a major political issue but also stated his view on gay rights.

“I’d say gas prices, but restrictions on gay rights are also important to me,” he said.

Currently in Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican majority in the legislature support a ban on gay marriage.

Ten years after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism tied for the 13th spot of 23 issues voted on at the political convention. MCCC student Dustin Morrison said he thinks we must stay on the offensive against terrorism.

“People have to understand they are our enemy, period,” he said.

Also at 13 on the list was the move to lower the drinking age. MCCC students found this to be unncessary.

“The fact the drinking age is an issue is a little silly,” said Juliana Prine. “Of all the other issues, it seems unimportant.”

Despite the many diverse political issues at the convention, unemployment was the reoccurring theme.

“Unemployment, I’m worried about it for when I graduate, ” MCCC student Branden Berns said.

Students also listened to a list of politicians speak.

Former congressman Bart Stupak gave the keynote, followed by long-time congressman John Dingell.

Sabo said listening to Dingell speak is a real opportunity.

“You got to see someone who sits down to speak with President Obama on a daily basis,” she said.

After hearing several speakers, Sabo did confess the students lost enthusiasm.

“The more politicians that got up and spoke, the more students lost interest,” she said.

She does believe that it is a worthy experience for the students.

“I would take students again – it’s that valuable,” she said.