By Clint Betts
More than two dozen college students were invited to an hour-long Q-and-A campaign event hosted by U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah and Utah’s 4th Congressional District candidate Mia Love at the Republican Party’s Victory Center campaign office in West Jordan on Oct. 18.
Students from UVU, BYU and the U. of U. attended the session and were told they could ask the candidates anything and discussed a variety of issues.
“In 2010, Utah’s per-pupil spending was the lowest in the nation,” public relations major Justin Schow said to Love. “Do you plan on increasing the amount of money this state spends per student on education?”
Love’s response to the question was that education works best when it is handled at the state and local level.
“Every parent and local government cares more about their children’s education than the federal government,” Love said. “The more choices parents have, the better off our state will be in the long run. I want to give local governments and schools everything they need in order to be successful in the classroom.”
Sen. Hatch, who is seeking a seventh term in the U.S. Senate, was lighthearted throughout the discussion and appeared comfortable taking questions from students.
“You can buy all of this b.s. that they put out there, and there’s plenty of it, and all of this hope and change [expletive],” Hatch said as students in the room erupted in laughter at the Senator’s language.
Hatch did get serious when talking about teachers’ unions and the negative effect he believes they have on education.
“Unions are destroying education,” Hatch said to students. “Bad teachers are not being replaced with great teachers. Unions are making it more and more difficult to make any significant change to the education system in this country.”
Love expressed a concern for college students who are facing rising tuition costs and rising interest rates on student loans.
“The price of tuition has gone up 500 percent since I went to college in the 1980s,” Love said. “I promise you the education students are getting is not 500 percent better. It’s just more expensive.”
Hatch also gave students advice to help them succeed in the future.
“If you really want to get a good job coming out of college, major in math or science,” Hatch said to students. “There are too many lawyers in this country today.”
At the end of the forum, Schow said he found the session beneficial.
“I normally don’t support political parties, but I picked up some flyers and made arrangements to help Mia’s campaign,” Schow said. “I wanted to get involved.”