Candidate visit highlighted by rising tuition costs, mounting student loans

Candidate visit highlighted by rising tuition costs, mounting student loans

by Sarah KellerStaff Writer

Becky Greenwald, a democratic candidate for Congress in Iowa’s 4th District, visited campus last week to speak with students about the cost of education.

As part of her “Enough is Enough Tour- Time to Replace Tom Latham Iowa’s Low-yielding Congressman” campaign, Greenwald is looking to replace the incumbent, Rep. Congressman Latham, who has been in office since 1995.

The Simpson College Democrats invited Greenwald to campus to share her fervor for education.

“The measure of a society is how we can progress and educate young people coming up through the country,” Greenwald said.

While visiting with students, her main point focused on finding a way to lower the cost for student loans to make college more affordable for students.

“College is becoming inaccessible to so many because of deep cuts that were made in 2005 and 2006,” Greenwald said. “We really need to address that and make sure that anyone that wants to, and is qualified to, get an advanced or post-secondary degree.”

Some students who listened to her speak expressed their gratitude for having someone fighting for their well-being in lowering the cost of education.

Sophomore Amanda Fichter, member of the Simpson Democrats, attended the campaign stop. She appreciated having a candidate who understood her financial status as a college student.

“It was nice that she was willing to come to our college,” Fichter said. “I still have two more years until I have to pay off my loans, but I can relate to what she was saying.”

Fichter also identified with Greenwald’s comments because after filling out her Free Application for Federal Student Aid, she did not receive enough funding to cover her tution. She will have to repay loans once she graduates.

“FASFA will not give me money because my parents make too much,” Fichter said. “Even though they do not give all that money to me, I have to take out loans.”

Greenwald acknowledged the overall importance of education.

“I really am passionate about the importance of education for moving our country forward,” Greenwald said. “Simpson is a wonderful school right here in an important part of our district, and I wanted to come down here and hear what students had to say.”

According to sophomore Steven Ramsey, co-president of the Simpson College Democrats, one reason why the organization decided to invite Greenwald to campus was the fact that she is a fellow democrat. They also wanted to let her be heard by the student body.

“The democrats of Simpson College want to help out local candidates,” Ramsey said. “We [Simpson College democrats] are pushing for progressive ideas and liberal views and ideologies.”

If Greenwald is elected to Congress, she will be the first woman from Iowa to hold the position.

“There are only two states that have never elected a woman to federal office or to the governorship: Iowa and Mississippi,” Greenwald said. “But really, the reason I am running is because I want to make a difference for the people.”