Senator Orrin Hatch answered the questions of students, faculty and community members during an open forum held at UVSC Nov. 27.

Hatch is currently serving as one of the senators for Utah, participating on various committees in the Senate, including the finance committee, judiciary committee, intelligence committee, and taxation committee, as well as others.

After a short introduction and presentation of gifts from the school, Senator Hatch opened the floor to questions from audience members.

Professor Jay DeSart of the history and political science department was first to question the senator. DeSart asked about the S-CHIP bill and if Senator Hatch’s support of the bill had affected his relationship with the president.

Hatch answered by saying, "He [the president] has had very bad advice."

Although the bill has seen its share of trouble in Congress, Hatch remains faithful to the S-CHIP bill saying, "This bill proves we can do things […] to make things better."

Senator Hatch noted that he was the longest serving member of the intelligence committee when asked about the war in Iraq.

The senator admitted that he was discouraged during his visit to Iraq two years ago due to the lack of progress. However, after a second visit this past summer, Hatch said he could see changes for the better. "We are making headway," he said.

Hatch said he believes that success in Iraq will hopefully alleviate the threat of a third world war. Hatch also mentioned the role the media has played in the war and said that all the mistakes made have been publicized, but the president is willing to admit to them.

Hatch was also questioned about the future influence the US may have in assisting those in Darfur. Senator Hatch said he was a supporter of helping the citizens or Darfur and said the US has not done enough to aide in the situation.

The always forefront issue of education funding in Utah was also brought up during the forum. Hatch said it is never acceptable to not place money in education.

He also showed great appreciation for the educators of the state. "We do the most we can with the limited funding," said Hatch. "But we have a tremendous teaching core."

Hatch was strong in voicing his opinions on drugs and pornography. "If you get hooked on it, your life is over," Hatch plainly stated. He went as far as to have said, "You have to be an idiot to be a smoker."

The senator was also questioned about his political support of presidential candidate Mitt Romney. "This country needs a financial genius," said Hatch of Romney.

Hatch also mentioned the other candidates, both Democratic and Republican and what those candidates’s strengths and weaknesses are in his opinion.

In regards to UVSC, Hatch said, "This school deserves great graduates."

Senator Hatch’s appearance was sponsored by the Center for the Study of Ethics.