#DearNextPresident: An open letter to presidential hopefuls

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Seemingly far-removed from the politics dominating the news this year, many Dixie State University students have hope the next U.S. president will represent them and their values.

This year’s presidential candidates’ viewpoints run the gamut — from a self-proclaimed democratic socialist to one who wants to build a giant wall on the Mexican border. Many students will have an opportunity to have their say in the future of America by voting in the elections in November. Immigration, healthcare, taxes, the environment and education are a few of the issues some students said are important to them.

Addressing the next president, Sara Wulfenstein, a junior business major from Pahrump, Nevada, said: “I hope you know how to run a business because the [U.S.] is a business. But it’s not only a business, it’s our home. I hope you can respect it as our home and a place where everyone can feel comfortable and safe.”  

Helena Josiah, a freshman nursing major from Lagos, Nigeria, said it’s important for the next president to embrace every race and culture, and allow all refugees from war-torn countries free entry. 

“In my country, we have a problem of insurgents, and there’s a lot of trouble in some communities,” Josiah said. “Refugees should be allowed to come to a country like the U.S. that’s more peaceful than the one they’re coming from. There should be a policy of freedom.” 

Not everyone agreed with Josiah’s viewpoints on allowing refugees free entry. Kathy Steinhart, a freshman general education major from Mission Viejo, California, said she thinks background checks should be increased for refugees entering the country to “keep these terrorists out of the country.”

Steinhart said she would also like to see the next president implement a stronger military, more border control, and tax reform to lower takes.

Many students said reforming higher education is something the next president should address. Free college or at least reduced tuition at a national level would help a lot of students, said Josh Green, a freshman art major from Butte, Montana. 

“College and books are just so expensive,” Green said. “I’m not really a political guy, but the next president should really give more power to the people.”

Lindsey Hope, a sophomore secondary education major from West Jordan, said education should be reformed. A more rigorous vetting process in selecting teachers would in turn benefit the economy, Hope said. 

Reducing the national debt is more important than handing out free college, said Tyler Nelson, a sophomore medical laboratory science major from St. George. 

“Dear next president: Please feed more hungry people in this nation,” said Tivon Bass, a freshman biology major from Las Vegas. 

Brian Bennion, a junior secondary education major from St. George, said, as a student, he’s excited to see how the presidential elections turn out.

Addressing the next president, Bennion said: “I hope you will be truly honest as a president. Refrain from half-truths, and be the president the people want you to be — not the president you want to be.”