UC Berkeley Point of View
What issue in the 2004 presidential election is most important to you?
|A thousand points of view
Check out the Point of View archive, with student opinions on the Free Speech Movement, same-sex marriage, and more.
|'Education and health care. Education in inner cities
and rural areas, and particularly for people of color, is not good
enough. Teachers who hardly make any money are having to buy their
own supplies. This election is crucial — it can expand the playing
field and level it out for students of color, or it can increase the
gap. And with health care — I am shocked by the number of Americans
who don't have health insurance. There are so many people who work,
professional people, and can't afford health care. That's wrong.'
—Janeshia Adams-Ginyard, fourth-year linguistics major. Hometown: Cerridos, CA.
|'Education prices, in the form of tuition fees, and
income taxes. Those two issues affect my financial health the most.
And I'd like both of them to go down.'
—Min Lee, second-year business (intended) major. Hometown: Corona, CA.
|'A woman's right to choose. If I got pregnant, I would
want to be able to have a range of options available to me. Basically,
I want control over my own uterus.'
—Jessica Hamon, first-year molecular and cell biology (intended) major. Hometown: Mountain View, CA.
|'The war in Iraq. I'm concerned about the precedent
it has set, the way we've lost all international support, and where
the country is going from a global perspective. Domestic issues are
important too, but not as much as the war is.'
—Alex Hafez, third-year classics major. Hometown: Berkeley, CA.
|'It's hard to say, because I don't think either candidate
has addressed young people's issues, such as education, minorities,
health issues — they've just talked abut the war the whole time.
Many young people don't have health insurance. If I weren't going to
Berkeley, I probably wouldn't have it.'
—Ghada Haddad, third-year political science major. Hometown: San Clemente, CA. (photo withheld on request)
|'Do I have to answer? I'm Republican and I don't want
to get yelled at. But I have to say government spending. I don't see
the Iraq war lasting more than a couple more years, but if Kerry's
elected, he'll be in for eight years and then probably Hillary [Clinton]
for eight more. I don't think the United States can afford that, economically.
I think Bush will be better for the economy.'
—Stephen Stradley, fourth-year history of art major. Hometown: Sacramento, CA.
|'Especially at a time like this, I'd have to say foreign
policy. If I were 18, I would vote for Kerry because I don't think
we can afford to keep things the way they are, with Bush's unilateralism
and disregard for other countries. If we really want to fight terrorism,
we can't do it alone.'
—Ziwei Hu, first-year PEIS (undeclared) major. Hometown: Davis, CA.
|'The economy. My parents run a business, head hunting,
that's very influenced by how well the economy is doing. When the job
market is down, their business is down, and that means there's less
money coming into our household.'
—Cameron Westcott, fourth-year political science major. Hometown: Dana Point, CA.
|'For me, it's health care and education. Insurance
is expensive — being a college student and no longer on your
parent's insurance is hard. And I don' think we're spending enough
money on education. Education in the inner cities, like where I'm from
in Los Angeles, is not up to par with other parts of the nation or
even California. That makes it hard for inner-city students to compete
with other students, which isn't fair.'
—Eryn Mack, second-year English major. Hometown: Los Angeles, CA.
|'Do I have to pick one? I think there are three that
are very important to me. The current tax policy makes me very uncomfortable.
We have so much debt as a nation, and education funding won't be increasing
anytime soon. We can't afford the tax cuts. Next, foreign policy. I
was in Europe this summer and so many random people just came up to
me on the street to tell me how much they loved America but hated Bush.
Then there's the environment. Clinton did all this good stuff to protect
it, and then Bush came along and just broke all these treaties.'
—Justin Barad, fourth-year bioengineering major. Hometown: Los Angeles, CA.
|'I can't vote here, but I think that there should have
been more domestic policy issues discussed in the debates, things like
immigration and the health system. I think they should have talked
more about how they planned to re-do the tax system and increase jobs.'
—Lillian Pedrosa, graduate student in social welfare and international studies. Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil.
|'The distribution of resources in education is the
most important issue to me, not that anyone's really talking about
it. I'm coming from the working-class perspective. This election is
a matter of choosing between the greater of two evils. The people who
have all the economic power also have all the decision-making abilities
— they're disconnected from the proletariat, and meanwhile, the
working class is too busy working, trying to survive, to make their
—Luis Ochoa, fourth-year Chicano studies major, interdisciplinary studies minor. Hometown: Arlita, CA.
|'I'm really not up on the whole politics thing, but
I think the abortion issue is very important. I have very strong feelings
against Bush about his views on abortion.'
—Jennifer Sasaki (right), second-year molecular and cell biology major. Hometown: Fremont, CA.
|'Gay marriage. I don't think the government should
be prescribing morality to its citizens. To me, that's a breach of
—Vaughn Villaverde, second-year political science major. Hometown: Long Beach, CA.
|'Our foreign policy, not specifically Iraq, but in
general. The Bush administration's imperial foreign policy really bothers
me. I think it increases terrorism and will cause even more problems
down the road. I am really scared about what will happen if Bush gets
—Ashley Barry, first-year Middle Eastern Studies (intended) major. Hometown: Dixon, CA.