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February 22, 2008

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School of Communication


Photo by Audrey McCrone
Chelsea Clinton answers questions from stu-
dents during her hour long speech on Feb. 14.
A large number of Hillary Clinton supporters
filled the UC for the event.

Chelsea Clinton fields students’ questions

Clinton stresses importance of changes in crucial issues for Ohioans

By Melanie Murphy
and Jennifer Spike

A thunderous applause filled the University Center as former first daughter Chelsea Clinton explained her mother’s plans to make college affordable in the United States, if she is elected president in 2008.
Hillary Clinton plans to expand tax credits at an amount of $3,500 per year for individuals and families to put themselves through higher education.

Pell Grant
She also plans to double the Federal Pell Grant Program so that qualified applicants could receive up to a maximum of $10,800 per year for college expenses.
The New York senator also plans to expand AmeriCorps, a service program that began while her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, was in office. She plans to increase funds for the program so that students can earn up to $20,000 per year for school by serving in their communities.
Senator Clinton would also like to see public service jobs such as healthcare, education, safety and law enforcement help to pay student loans. The public service of these individuals would help pay outstanding loan balances.
“My mother wants to make college affordable so that everyone can follow his or her dreams,” Chelsea Clinton said during her visit to Cleveland State. The event was sponsored by the CSU Student Government Association.
Chelsea Clinton added that her mother would like to make applying for financial aide easier by getting rid of the FAFSA forms and application process altogether.
CSU students, faculty and staff along with local news media representatives filled the floor and lined the balconies of the UC atrium that was decorated with “Welcome Chelsea” banners and green, white and silver balloons.
Cleveland State President Michael Schwartz, was pleased with the large student turnout.
“It’s big,” Dr. Schwartz said. “This is exactly what we wanted.”
Schwartz said Clinton’s visit and speech helped further the university’s mission to engage students in their learning experience.
Zoe Zelazny, non-degree student, said that Chelsea Clinton really highlighted what her mom plans to do and has already done. Zelazny feels that this event was a great forum for students, getting the chance to meet a young person up close.
“I’m from Buffalo and I don’t like her as a senator,” said sophomore, Christian Wolff. “Chelsea spoke well and was well dressed, but she danced around the questions like most politicians.”
Chelsea Clinton arrived dressed for the occasion with a simple look: black slacks, a gray and black suit coat with neon green accents, a white button down shirt and black patent leather pumps.
Felicitas Fischer, a sophomore majoring in nursing, wanted to hear Hillary speak instead of Chelsea.
“I actually want to hear her mom speak about the true issues. I don’t know how she would know too much of what her mother wants to do,” Fischer said. “I want to hear Hillary. I don’t see how asking her questions are going to help [form] our opinions. I’d rather hear from Hillary.”
Many other questions were on the minds of students, specifically on job security in the Midwest, healthcare and the War in Iraq.
“If my mom could end the war yesterday, she would,” said Chelsea Clinton. She also added that her mother was the first presidential candidate to ask the Pentagon what they will do to bring the troops home. If elected president, the senator would immediately convene her international security advisors to bring the troops home as quickly and safely as possible.

Moral obligation
“We have a moral obligation to keep the men and women safe, both American troops and the Iraqi people,” said Chelsea Clinton on her mother’s behalf.
Senator Clinton understands the importance of creating new jobs in order to boost the country’s economy. She plans to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 and deduct tax breaks that were given to large oil and gas companies.
The former first daughter also briefed the audience on her mother’s plan to universalize the health care system in the United States.
Chelsea Clinton answered a personal question when asked what life lessons her mother has taught her. She replied that first and foremost her mom showed her that “life is not about what happens to you, it’s about what you do with it.”

Audrey McCrone, Gavin Keenan and James Kneblik contributed to this report.



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