Obama expresses hope in the “American dream”

Obama expresses hope in the American dream

Once a year democrats, flock to the city of Indianola in droves. They all come for one thing: the Harkin Steak Fry.

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin hosted the event on Sept. 17. It provided Simpson students with the opportunity to learn about issues affecting Iowans and others across the country and also to hear politicians campaign for office.

Many discussed the upcoming gubernatorial elections in which Chet Culver is running as the democratic candidate.

The featured speaker, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, spoke about his hope for the United States.

“I’m confident about Iowa, and I’m confident about America,” Obama said. “We don’t settle [for less] in America because we believe everyone has the capacity to participate in this American dream.”

Still, Simpson democrats present at the event brought along their concerns regarding government funding for private education.

“I think the biggest thing is education and making sure that private schools — like Simpson – get the funding they need,” Sophomore Kyle Liske said. “You hear a lot of talk about public schools, and they [government officials] kind of overlook the private schools. They need to focus on that.”

Junior Nathan Arentsen, president of the Simpson College Democrats, holds similar concerns regarding public education and notes recent budget cuts have made the concern even stronger.

“At a private school, many will say that doesn’t matter,” Arentsen said. “At Iowa State, Iowa and UNI, we can say to college students that your tuition is spent wisely and is as low as possible. At private colleges, what we need to say to students is the interest rates that have been created by this huge deficit we see in our congress definitely affect students.”

At an event on Simpson’s campus following the Steak Fry, local candidates addressed many of the same issues.

Due to traffic problems, some of the expected speakers, including Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and Culver, weren’t able to attend.

Politicians who were on hand at Simpson include Mark Davitt, who serves on the Iowa House District No.74, and congressional candidates from different areas across the state.

Overall, the Simpson College Democrats seemed pleased with the speakers at both the Harkin Steak Fry and on Simpson’s campus afterward.

“A lot of it really hit home for students,” Arentsen said. “Everything that Democrats were trying to get across to students, they were able to at the Steak Fry, which is really encouraging. Students are really out there, and they care passionately about these issues.”